Volume 1, Issue 1 (January 2004)
The Effects of Raw Material, Irradiation Dose, and Irradiation Source on Crosslinking of UHMWPE
Four Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) materials were evaluated after various irradiation crosslinking processes to determine the effects of the materials and processes on their properties for orthopaedic applications. The materials and processes included two molecular weight materials (GUR 1020 and GUR 1050), two fabricated forms (ram extruded bar and compression-molded sheet), two irradiation sources (gamma and e-beam) and multiple irradiation doses ranging from 30–120 kGy. Increasing irradiation dose led to increased crosslinking, decreased wear, and decreased toughness. The molecular weight of the starting material and the irradiation source both had effects on the final properties while the fabricated form did not. Wear testing of selected groups indicated that there was a direct correlation with irradiation dose but not with the crosslink density (as calculated from the swell ratio).