Tribology Letters

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 9–22 | Cite as

Computational model of asperity contact for the prediction of UHMWPE mechanical and wear behaviour in total hip joint replacements

  • N. Suhendra
  • G.W. StachowiakEmail author


The effect of sliding friction on the size of yielding region in the ultra high molecular weight polyethylene asperity in contact with metal was investigated. The main objective of this work was to gain an understanding of wear particle generation mechanism from the two-dimensional finite element model. To assess the influence of the parameters of interest, different friction coefficients and loading conditions were used in the numerical simulations. Results from the finite element analysis show that the increase of the yielding region is strongly influenced by the friction coefficient and the rise in the tangential force, which is related to the generation of wear particles. Finite element wear particle generation model, based on strain discontinuities, was therefore proposed. The results obtained in this study can lead to the development of an accurate finite element particle generation model that would be of use in the assessment of an artificial implant performance and their development.


asperity contact finite element hip joint strain discontinuities wear particle formation 



normal vector


discontinuity path


displacement as a function of root, r

ψ (x,t)

propagation direction

ψ (e)(t)

vector of propagation direction at time, t and element, e


yield point

spatial gratient \(\nabla = \frac{\partial } {{\partial r}} = \frac{\partial } {{\partial x}} + \frac{\partial } {{\partial y}}\) (in 2D cases)


strain as a function of root r


2D entire body


flow stress


yield stress


asperity base angle



The authors wish to thank the School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Western Australia (UWA) for its help during the preparation of this article. The first author would like to thank the Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) scheme for the financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tribology Laboratory, School of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for the Assessment and Application of Materials Technology – BPPTJakartaIndonesia

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