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Orthopade. 2005 Oct;34(10):1046-7, 1049-51.

[Metallurgical differentiation of cobalt-chromium alloys for implants].

[Article in German]

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Med-Titan, IZMP, Erlangen.



Cobalt Chromium alloys are used in cemented total hip or knee arthroplasty as well as in metal-on-metal bearings in total hip arthroplasty. An increasing number of publications report about (allergic) reactions to wear particles of Cobalt Chromium alloys. Reactions to nickel are more frequent in comparison to Cobalt or Chromium particles. It is well known that different kinds of Cobalt Chromium alloys contain different amounts of alloying elements; nevertheless. The aim of the current work was to compare the different Cobalt Chromium alloys according to ASTM F or ISO standards in respect to the different alloying elements.


Co28Cr6Mo casting alloys according to ASTM F 75 or ISO 5832-4 as well as forging alloy types according to ASTM F 799 and ISO 5832 such as Co20Cr15W10Ni, Co35Ni20Cr, Fe40Co20Cr10Ni, Co20Cr20Ni, and Co28Cr6Mo were analyzed in respect to their element content of Co, Cr, Ni, Mo, Fe, W, and Mn.


In 1935 the Cobalt based alloy "Vitallium" Co30Cr5Mo basically used in the aircraft industry was introduced into medicine. The chemical composition of this alloy based on Cobalt showed 30 wt.% Chromium and 5 wt.% Molybdenum. The differentiation using alloy names showed no Nickel information in single alloy names.


The information given about different alloys can lead to an unprecise evaluation of histopathological findings in respect to alloys or alloying constituents. Therefore, implant manufacturers should give the exact information about the alloys used and adhere to European law, Euronorm 93/42/EWG.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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