Accelerated hip implant wear testing

3D model Experimental Setup

Rim cracking of polyethylene acetabular liners and squeaking in ceramic components are two important potential failure modes of hip implants, but the loads and stresses that cause such failures are not well understood. Contact stresses in hip implants are analyzed under worst case load conditions to develop new wear testing methods to improve the pre-clinical evaluation of next-generation hip implants and their materials. Complicated full-scale hip implant simulator tests are expensive and take months to complete. A primary goal of this work is to find inexpensive surrogate specimen shapes and loading modes that can, in inexpensive lab tests taking only a few hours, produce the same wear patterns as seen in full-scale prototype testing. Continue reading

Verification Research: The method of manufactured solutions (MMS)

MMS stands for “Method of Manufactured Solutions,” which is a rather sleazy sounding name for what is actually a respected and rigorous method of verifying that a finite element (or other) code is correctly solving the governing equations.

A simple introduction to MMS may be found on page 11 of The ASME guide for verification and validation in solid mechanics. The basic idea is to analytically determine forcing functions that would lead to a specific, presumably nontrivial, solution (of your choice) for the dependent variable of a differential equation.  Then you would verify a numerical solver for that differential equation by running it using your analytically determined forcing function.  The difference between the code’s prediction and your selected manufactured solution provides a quantitative measure of error.

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