S. P. Rodrigues1, F. J. Oliveira1, M. S. Amaral2 and R. F. Silva1
1) CICECO, DEMaC - Department of Materials and Ceramic Engineering, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal;
2) PRIREV Surface Technology S.A., Zona Industrial de Vagos – Lote 61, 3840-385 Vagos-Aveiro, Portugal
Nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) coatings were grown on silicon nitride (Si3N4) substrates that followed the shape of human femoral heads and acetabula, using a chemical vapor deposition system activated by hot filament (HFCVD). The main challenge was to develop an adequate filament design to grow diamond on these curved surfaces. The optimized procedure allowed to deposit diamond coatings of about 10-14 μm in thickness. For both femoral head and acetabular prostheses, the SEM morphological characterization of the deposited coatings showed that the surface morphology was uniform and continuous, characteristic of a NCD growth. Raman analysis also confirmed the good quality of the diamond coatings grown and the 3D profilometry gave Sa values of about 0.4 μm. This diamond-diamond bearing surface has also showed an outstanding wear resistance, being this approach a good promise to contribute to last longer than the current hip joint prostheses.