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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 4502904, 9 pages
Research Article

The Effects of Surface Mechanical Deformation and Bovine Serum Albumin on the Tribological Properties of Polyvinyl Alcohol Hydrogel as an Artificial Cartilage

1College of Electromechanical Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, Shandong 266061, China
2School of Mechanical Engineering, Qingdao University of Technology, Qingdao, Shandong 266520, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Feng Guo; nc.ude.tuq@ougfem

Received 23 June 2017; Revised 1 October 2017; Accepted 12 October 2017; Published 28 December 2017

Academic Editor: Hongchao Kou

Copyright © 2017 Feng Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The mechanical and tribological properties of polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel as an artificial cartilage were studied under water and bovine serum albumin-lubricated sliding conditions. The frictional properties of the polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel were investigated via reciprocating frictional tests. The effect of surface mechanical deformation on the tribological properties of the polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel as an artificial cartilage was studied by concurrently recording the z-axis displacement and friction coefficient time. Three different factors were chosen including load, speed, and lubrication. The results showed that the albumin solution could reverse the trend in the coefficient of friction in tests at different loading levels. There was no improvement in the friction condition in albumin at low speeds. However, when the speed was increased to 2 Hz, the coefficient of friction was significantly reduced. Wear testing was also conducted, and wear tracks were found on the sample surface. The results also showed that even though the surface deformation could recover as the water phase of the porous structure recovered, the coefficient of friction continued to increase simultaneously. This relationship between mechanical and frictional tests indicated that biphasic lubrication effects may not be the only dominant factor underlying the excellent friction properties of polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel.