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Study of the Ti-15Nb alloys with in-situ TiC and TiB reinforcements to combine low elastic modulus with high wear resistance targeting biomedical applications

Grant number: 24/03308-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2024
Effective date (End): May 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics
Principal Investigator:Diego Rafael Nespeque Correa
Grantee:Carlos Eduardo da Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências (FC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The scientific community has been challenged to find materials that enhance the durability and performance of orthopedic prostheses, such as hip and knee prostheses. Among the promising alternatives, titanium-niobium (Ti-Nb) alloys stand out as non-toxic and non-allergenic materials that group high specific mechanical strength with low elastic modulus. Compositions like the Ti-15Nb alloy have achieved elastic modulus values closest to that of bone, which is crucial to prevent bone embrittlement. However, in addition to mechanical properties, joint prostheses also involve tribological requirements, because cyclic sliding movements usually occur between their components. This condition limits the success of metallic materials, which generally have low wear resistance. To attend these requirements, a strategy may involve the addition of hard particles as the reinforcement of Ti-Nb alloys, yielding Ti-based Matrix Composites (TMCs). In this way, the critical factor for achieving the desired properties lies in the strong bond between the reinforcement and the matrix, which can be achieved when chemical reactions occur during the TMC production, known as in-situ conditions. For instance, a recent study innovatively applied arc melting to promote in-situ reactions between the Ti-40Nb alloy and B4C powder. As a result, a TMC with hybrid reinforcement of TiC and TiB was obtained. However, elevated levels of Nb, TiC, and TiB led to an increase in the elastic modulus. Therefore, the present project aims to produce and characterize new TMCs with the Ti-15Nb alloy and the addition of different amounts of B4C during melting. In this way, it is expected to combine high wear resistance with a low elastic modulus, essential for biomedical applications.

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