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Quantitative Crack Surface Morphology of Bone Cements in Relation to Propagation Rate

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Morphology of the crack surface of surgical bone cements has seldom been studied in the past despite the clinical relevance of cement failure. Previous studies on a specific cement type suggest that crack morphology depends on crack propagation rate. The objectives of this work were: (i) to develop a quantitative indicator for describing crack morphology; and (ii) to assess if dependency on crack-propagation rate is affected by cement formulation. Known crack surfaces were obtained from specimens under controlled loading conditions. Crack surface roughness was measured for different crack-propagation rates, and compared against the amount of cleaved pre-cured beads (measured with a semi-automated procedure based on micrographs). Such indicators were extremely robust, operator-independent, highly correlated, and sensitive to the type of fracture. Moreover, it was found that crack surface morphology heavily depends upon cement composition. Thus, crack surface roughness is proposed as a method for quantitatively identifying crack morphology, and finally classifying fracture type.
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Keywords: acrylic surgical bone cement; crack growth path; crack growth rate; fatigue crack propagation; fracture surface roughness; polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratorio di Tecnologia Medica, Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institutes, Via di Barbiano 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy 2: Applied Chemistry and Materials Science Department, Engineering Faculty, University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy 3: Department of Optics and Precision Mechanics, University Ferhat Abbas, Setif, Algeria 4: Mechanical Engineering Department, Engineering Faculty, University of Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 2, 40136 Bologna, Italy

Publication date: 01 September 2007

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