The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 5, 991 - 1002

Design, Material, and Seating Load Effects on In Vitro Fretting Corrosion Performance of Modular Head-Neck Tapers

Ouellette, Eric S. et al.


The short-term corrosion and micromechanical behavior of 32 unique head-neck taper design/material/assembly conditions was tested using an incremental cyclic fretting corrosion (ICFC) test method previously developed.


Seven materials, design, and simulated surgical parameters were evaluated, each being assigned 2 conditions for testing, using a 2 7-2 (7 factor, quarter factorial) design of experiments test matrix. The factors explored were (1) seating load, (2) head-neck offset, (3) material combination, (4) taper diameter, (5) taper roughness, (6) angular mismatch/engagement, and (7) taper length. Each sample underwent assembly, ICFC testing, pull off.


Low seating load and high head offset correlated with increased fretting corrosion ( P < .05). High head offset also contributed to a lower onset load for fretting current and higher micromotion (P < .05). Head subsidence measured over the ICFC test for samples seated at 100 N was significantly higher than samples seated at 4000 N. Micromotion for 12-mm head offsets was statistically higher than samples with a 1.5-mm head offset. A number of interactive effects were observed. For example, samples seated at 4000 N were less sensitive to head offset than samples seated at 100 N in terms of the resulting fretting current.


Taper locking position, material combination, taper engagement length, taper roughness, and taper dimensions all had weak or no correlation with fretting current and taper micromotion. This test method and experimental design is a versatile means of assessing potential new taper designs in the future.

Download article