The Bauschinger effect is a phenomenon metals show as a result of plastic deformation. After a primary plastic deformation the yield strength in the opposite loading direction decreases. The aim of this study is to investigate if there is a phenomenon similar to Bauschinger effect in thermoplastic polymers for stent application that would influence the mechanical properties of these biodegradable implants. Combined uniaxial tensile with subsequent compression tests as well as conventional compression tests without prior tensile loading were performed using biodegradable polymers for stent application (PLLA and a PLLA based blend). Comparing the results of compression tests with prior tensile loading to the compression-only tests a decrease in compressive strength can be observed for both of the tested materials. The conclusion of the performed experiments is that there is a phenomenon similar to Bauschinger effect not only in metallic materials but also in the examined thermoplastic polymers. The observed reduction of compressive strength as a consequence of prior tensile loading can influence the mechanical behaviour, e.g. the radial strength, of polymeric stents after sustaining a complex load history due to crimping and expansion.
©2017 Kerstin Schümann et al., published by De Gruyter
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