In Vitro Corrosion Testing of Modular Hip Tapers

Jay R. Goldberg, Jeremy L. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


The in vivo fretting behavior of modular hip prostheses was simulated to determine the effects of material combination and a unique TiN/AIN coating on fretting and corrosion at the taper interface. Fretting current, open-circuit potential (OCP), and quantities of soluble debris were measured to determine the role of mechanically assisted crevice corrosion on fretting and corrosion of modular hip tapers. Test groups consisting of similar-alloy (Co-Cr-Mo head/Co-Cr-Mo neck), mixed-alloy (Co-Cr-Mo head/Ti-6A1-4V neck), and TiN/AIN-coated mixed-alloy modular hip taper couples were used. Loads required to initiate fretting were similar for all test groups and were well below loads produced by walking and other physical activities. Decreases in OCP and increases in fretting current observed during long-term cyclic loading were indicative of fretting and corrosion. Current measured after cessation of cyclic loading suggests that once the conditions for crevice corrosion are established, corrosion can continue in the absence of loading. The chemical, mechanical, and electrochemical measurements, along with microscopic inspections of the taper surfaces indicate that the fretting and corrosion behavior of similar- and mixed-alloy taper couples are similar and that the coated samples are more resistant to fretting and corrosion. The results of this study clearly indicate the role of mechanical loading in the corrosion process, and support the hypothesis of mechanically assisted crevice corrosion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-93
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 15 2003


  • Fretting
  • In vitro testing
  • Mechanically assisted crevice corrosion
  • Modular hip prostheses
  • Surface modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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