Table of Contents
ISRN Materials Science
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 121486, 14 pages
Research Article

Finite Element Modelling of Shock-Induced Damages on Ceramic Hip Prostheses

Biomechanics and Biomaterials Department, Center for Health Engineering, UMR CNRS 5146, IFR 143, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne, 158 cours Fauriel, 42023 Saint-Etienne, France

Received 5 April 2011; Accepted 20 May 2011

Academic Editors: J. Provis and R. Rodríguez

Copyright © 2011 Juliana Uribe 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 aim of this work was to simulate the behaviour of hip prostheses under mechanical shocks. When hip joint is replaced by prosthesis, during the swing phase of the leg, a microseparation between the prosthetic head and the cup could occur. Two different sizes of femoral heads were studied: 28 and 32 mm diameter, made, respectively, in alumina and zirconia. The shock-induced stress was determined numerically using finite element analysis (FEA), Abaqus software. The influence of inclination, force, material, and microseparation was studied. In addition, an algorithm was developed from a probabilistic model, Todinov's approach, to predict lifetime of head and cup. Simulations showed maximum tensile stresses were reached on the cup's surfaces near to rim. The worst case was the cup-head mounted at 30. All simulations and tests showed bulk zirconia had a greater resistance to shocks than bulk alumina. The probability of failure could be bigger than 0.9 when a porosity greater than 0.7% vol. is present in the material. Simulating results showed good agreement with experimental results. The tests and simulations are promising for predicting the lifetime of ceramic prostheses.