This study assesses the strength and adherence of VPS titanium coatings on ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) substrates. Four-point bend tests show the existence of a critical tensile strain of 1% corresponding to the onset of cracking. For strains up to 6%, crack density increases with no observed debonding. Fatigue tests over 106 cycles reveal that the coating remains uncracked at a strain of 1% and stays in a stable cracked state without debonding as strain is increased to approximately 6%. A laser shock test developed specifically for titanium-polymer interfaces revealed the existence of a debonding threshold corresponding to the adhesion strength. The results serve as a guide for the design of orthopedic implants on which VPS titanium coatings are used and, more generally, open the way for systematic measurement of adhesion between metallic coatings and polymer substrates.

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