DBEC: Cross-linked Polyethylenes: Hot Competitors in the Marketplace

We will continue our study of highly cross-inked polyethylenes on the market and attempt to identify processing variables and material properties that have an impact on expected performance. Examples include:

  • What are the roles of annealing and quenching in cross-linking?
  • Is TVI affected by annealing/quenching?
  • Why are there differences in TVI among the competitors' "high dose" polyethylenes?
  • What are we learning from annealed UHMWPE bearings when they come out as retrievals?
  • What is the impact of anti-oxidant doping on UHMWPE properties?

Latest-generation cross-linked bearing material is currently being solicited from all competitor companies and a suite of blinded comparative tests is planned. The anticipated product will be a technical journal publication of comparative results - a follow-on to the study published in 2003*.

* Collier JP, Currier BH, Kennedy FE, Currier JH, Timmins GS, Jackson SK, Brewer RL: Comparison of Cross-Linked Polyethylene Materials for Orthopaedic Applications. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research 414:289-304, 2003