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Several problems are associated with corrosion-wear occurring on metal-on-metal hip implants made out of cobalt-chromium based alloys. Low temperature carburizing, a process that creates a hard and corrosion resistant diffused layer in Cobalt-Chromium-Molybdenum (CoCrMo) alloys, known as S-phase, may be a possible solution towards mitigating these problems. In this work, static- and tribo-corrosion testing involving an alumina versus CoCrMo (untreated and carburized) were conducted in Ringer's solution. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy was used to compare impedance plots attained before and after sliding so as to understand how the metal-electrolyte interface is affected by rubbing. Both untreated and carburized CoCrMo experienced extensive reduction in corrosion resistance following sliding wear damage such that one should expect a considerably deteriorated performance of both surfaces in a tribocorrosion application. The structure of the interface was relatively unaffected after sliding at the equilibrium and passive potentials. This implies that the layers making up the interface before sliding were still present after sliding. However, their properties changed - the interface's real resistance dropped while its capacitance increased. The former was linked to a weaker, damaged passive film while the latter was linked to accumulation of wear debris and corrosion products. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Josianne Cassar, Bertram Mallia, Andreas Karl, Joseph Buhagiar. The effect of sliding onto the metal-electrolyte interface: Studying model parameter modifications by means of EIS. Materials science & engineering. C, Materials for biological applications. 2017 Jun 01;75:1366-1375

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PMID: 28415428

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