Posted byOrthoEx Posted in,
Posted on Oct 01, 2018

Lambda Technologies has developed a surface treatment for modular orthopedic implants that eliminates the chance of failure from fretting fatigue. Low plasticity burnishing (LPB®) applies a deep, beneficial surface layer of designed residual compression to mitigate fretting fatigue in titanium implants. By putting the edge of contact region in high residual compression much deeper than the shallow shear cracks formed by fretting, the cracks cannot propagate and the chance of fracture from fretting is eliminated.

Millions of people have regained their mobility because of hip or knee implant technology. Day- to-day activities of the implant recipient, particularly those who are active, can lead to repeated metal-to-metal sliding contact in the joint, leaving the implant vulnerable to fretting induced fatigue cracks and, potentially, failure in the edge-of-contact region. If failure does occur, revision surgeries are required, significantly affecting the quality of life of patients. Fatigue testing of the modular hip and knee prosthesis systems by original manufacturers showed that LPB treatment improves the baseline fatigue strength by nominally 40%, and completely eliminated the occurrence of fretting induced failure.

The FDA has approved Lambda’s LPB process for extending the life of modular prostheses. During the twelve-plus years that orthopedic surgeons have been using LPB treated hip implants, and approximately three years of LPB treated knee implants, no LPB processed implant has failed from fretting fatigue. Dr. N. Jayaraman, Director of Materials Research for Lambda Technologies noted that, “The cost savings and improvement in the quality of life for patients is immeasurable. And as an added bonus, the ease of implementation of LPB into existing production environments in CNC mills or lathes has made it very cost-effective for the manufacturers.“

Lambda Technologies is an innovative company incorporating a premier materials research laboratory with a world-class engineering and production enterprise dedicated to the development and optimization of surface treatments to improve component performance. For additional information on Lambda Technologies or the LPB process, contact Julie Prevéy at (513) 561-0883 or visit