Student Research

Electrochemical Evaluation of Advanced Titanium Alloys In Simulated Physiological Environments

Modern structural biomedical implants are made from titanium alloys due to their excellent corrosion resistance and biocompatibility. Currently Ti-6Al-4V (Ti64) is the most commonly used structural implant material. This study was motivated by the need for longer-lasting implant alloys because of increasing life expectancy of patients and the need to avoid revision surgery. Moreover, Ti64 releases metal ions into the body, which are associated with neurological disorders, inflammation, pain, and loosening of the implant. The purpose of this project is to quantitatively compare the corrosion behavior of candidate titanium alloys, i.e., Ti-6Al-7Nb (Ti67), Ti-35Zr-10Nb (Ti3510), commercially pure titanium with and without boron (CPTi and CPTi+B), and Ti64 with and without boron. By having elastic moduli closer to that of human bone, Ti67 and Ti3510 can better redistribute mechanical stresses to the surrounding bone and thus minimize stress shielding. Previous studies in this group have shown that small additions of boron to CPTi and Ti64 increase the hardness and reduce the rate of corrosion compared to the parent alloys. Cyclic potentiodynamic polarization scans based on the ASTM F2129 test protocol were conducted in simulated physiological environments consisting of deaerated, body-temperature electrolytic solutions.

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