The Wear Testing Laboratory allows us to quantitatively characterize wear properties during in vivo simulations. In addition to biomechanical testing on servohydraulic test systems (see Mechanical Testing Laboratory), wear testing can be performed on our custom six-station wear simulator.
Wear tests can be performed with varying degrees of articulation, loading, and temperature. Additionally, load soak stations are used as controls, experiencing the same conditions but without articulating.
Wear particles generated during a simulation may be characterized by gravimetric methods, scanning electron microscope imaging/analysis and EDS analysis, and laser particle counting. A Sartorius analytical balance with a resolution of 0.05 mg is available for high-accuracy weighing. Quantification and sizing of wear particles are performed with a Spectrex PC2000 laser particle counter. Wear particles can also be imaged, quantified, and chemically identified on the scanning electron microscope and EDS analysis (see Image Analysis Laboratory).
Wear surfaces are examined via coordinate measurement mapping techniques and are additionally documented using stereomicroscopic photography. Entire specimens can also be scanned into 3D models using micro-CT and the models can be further analyzed to calculate changes in volume or to look at surface changes due to wear.