Ionizing radiation isnt generally thought of as good for you, but its good for artificial hips. A new reference material from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will help researchers determine what methods of irradiating the plastic parts in joint replacements during manufacturing will best increase their wear resistance.
Reference Material 8457 is intended to help address concerns about the long-term durability of orthopedic hip implants amid growing use of these devices in younger, more active patients. It is well known that radiation can create new chemical bonds between adjacent molecular chains in a special form of polyethylene used to make the socket for the metal ball and shaft in an artificial hip. This "crosslinking" creates a structure that resists sliding forces and wear. Manufacturers and researchers need to control radiation conditions to achieve the intended wear resistance; too much radiation causes brittleness, and too little can result in poor wear resistance.
The NIST material consists of 10 small, identical cubes of polyethylene. The cubes are intended for use as control samples in a new ASTM International standard test method. The method involves immersing cubes in an organic liquid and measuring how much the material swells. Samples that expand the most have the least amount of crosslinking. Each reference material comes with a certificate that provides precise cube dimensions and information about swelling from a series of round-robin tests involving six laboratories.
Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
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Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
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Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
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On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
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