The authors have conducted a preliminary investigation with regard to the potential to manufacture porous titanium alloys for biomedical applications using toxic-free elemental powders, i.e., Ti, Nb, Ta, Zr, in combination with the pressurised gas bubble entrapment method and in contrast to standard processing routes that generally utilise prealloyed powder containing potentially toxic elements. Elemental powder compacts were either hot isostatic pressed (HIP-ed) at 1000°C and then foamed at 1150°C or else HIP-ed at 1100°C and foamed at 1350°C. Porous α + β alloys containing up to 45 vol% of porosity in the size range 20-200 μm were successfully produced, thus highlighting the potential of this manufacturing route. It was expected that further optimisation of the processing route would allow full development of the preferred β-Ti phase (from the point of view of elastic modulus compatibility between implant and bone) with this being the subject of future work by the authors.
Journal of Mater Science : Material for Medicine. 2010 Dec;21(12):3103-7. doi: 10.1007/s10856-010-4162-x. Epub 2010 Oct 20.
(2) Department of Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, WA, 6845, Australia.