The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of a dose of e-beam irradiation on the mechanical and tribological properties of crosslinked UHMWPE.
Specimens of UHMWPE were irradiated at different dose levels between 0 and 110 kGy using the WIAM e-beam process. Irradiation was followed by melt annealing and slow cooling.
In general, the mechanical properties of irradiated UHMWPE decrease with increasing irradiation dose. Increasing the irradiation dose from 50 to 95 kGy results in a loss of 4% yield strength, 16% elongation, 15% tensile strength and 18% impact strength. Crystallinity does not change significantly.
In comparison with conventional material, irradiation with 50 kGy reduces the wear rate by 73%. A further reduction of 56% can be realized by increasing the dose from 50 to 95 kGy.
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