Frictional Properties of PVA Hydrogel
Total hip replacement is one of the most successful surgical treatments of modern medicine. Typically, at present, hard-on-hard bearing surfaces are widely used for components of artificial hip joints. Hard-on-hard means that both components have high modulus of elasticity in range of hundreds of GPa. However, these materials suffer from relatively high friction and wear rate. This is connected especially with occurring lubrication regime. To approach conditions presented in natural joints, it is necessary to think about artificial cartilage. One of the anticipated materials for artificial cartilage is polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel. PVA hydrogel has water content about 85 % and its elastic modulus is approximately E ≈ 1.2 MPa, which is similar to natural cartilage. The main disadvantage of PVA hydrogel is its lower strength. In this study, commercial mini traction machine (MTM) was used to determine friction coefficient for various slide-to-roll ratios (SRR). Bovine serum was used as a lubricant and the tests were carried out under ambient temperature for three various speeds u1 = 25 mm/s; u2 = 50 mm/s; u3 = 100 mm/s and two different loads F1 = 5.2 N; F2 = 9.8 N, respectively. As expected, friction coefficient was very low, less than 0.05 under some conditions. In future, optical method based on the principle of fluorescent microscopy will be used for studying lubricant film thickness and protein adsorption on bearing surfaces.