Medical Device Materials - Proceedings of the Materials and Processes for Medical Devices Conference 2003, Anaheim, CA., United States Of America, 8 - 10 September 2003, pp.357-361
The use of titanium alloys in biomedical applications has been limited due to their poor tribological performance even if they exhibit excellent biocompatibility and corrosion resistance. Although it is a favorable material for orthopedic implants, Ti-6A1-4V alloy is longer recommended because of the fact that creation of unwanted wear debris between contacting surfaces eventually causes adverse tissue reactions and toxic effects. The aim of this study was to produce a mechanically stable and corrosion resistant surface layer to improve the tribological performance of Ti-6Al-4V alloy through thermal oxidation. Characterization of modified surface layers was carried out by means of microscopic examinations, ultramicrohardness tests and X-ray diffraction analysis. Accelerated corrosion tests revealed that, the examined Ti-6Al-4V alloy achieved excellent resistance to corrosion after long time (60 and 72 hours) oxidation at 600°C. When compared to untreated alloy, oxidized alloy exhibited 25 times higher resistance to wear in physiological saline solutions (commercially available isotonic and lactated Ringer's).