In order to guarantee long term traceability for hip joint heads, permanent marking must be used. Two marking techniques are currently used today for ceramic femoral heads: mechanical machining and laser beam engraving. The objective of this paper was to analyze the risks and advantages of each technique and to evaluate the influence of marking on the mechanical performance of ceramic heads. It has been noted that: -i) the flaws due to mechanical marking are two orders of magnitude larger than for laser engraving, -ii)the stress concentration at the bottom of the head, where machined marking is preferably made, could be significantly higher than at the top of the bore, where laser engraving is currently performed. It is therefore argued that laser engraving is a more suitable marking procedure to guarantee long term reliability.
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