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A comparative study on biodegradation and mechanical properties of pressureless infiltrated Ti/Ti6Al4V-Mg composites

Butev, Ezgi
Karakas, M. Serdar
The mechanical response and biodegradation behavior of pressureless Mg-infiltrated Ti-Mg and Ti6Al4V-Mg composites were investigated by compression and simulated body fluid immersion tests, respectively. Prior porous preforms were surrounded uniformly with magnesium as a result of infiltration and the resultant composites were free of secondary phases and intermetallics. Although the composites' compressive strengths were superior compared to bone, both displayed elastic moduli similar to that of cortical bone and had higher ductility with respect to their starting porous forms. However, Ti-Mg composites were unable to preserve their mechanical stabilities during in-vitro tests such that they fractured in multiple locations within 15 days of immersion. The pressure generated by H-2 due to rapid corrosion of magnesium caused failure of the Ti-Mg composites through sintering necks. On the other hand, the galvanic effect seen in Ti6Al4V-Mg was less severe compared to that of Ti-Mg. The degradation rate of magnesium in Ti6Al4V-Mg was slower, and the composites were observed to be mechanically stable and preserved their integrities over the entire 25-day immersion test. Both composites showed bioinert and biodegradable characteristics during immersion tests and magnesium preferentially corroded leaving porosity behind while Ti/Ti6Al4V remained as a permanent scaffold. The porosity created by degradation of magnesium was refilled by new globular agglomerates. Mg(OH)(2) and CaHPO4 phases were encountered during immersion tests while MgCl2 was detected during only the first 5 days. Both composites were classified as bioactive since the precipitation of CaHPO4 phase is known to be precursor of hydroxyapatite formation, an essential requirement for an artificial material to bond to living bone.