Corrosion Study of Magnetically Driven Components in Spinal Implants by Immersion Testing in Simulated Body Fluids

Magnetically controlled growing rods (MCGRs) have been used to stabilise and correct spinal curvature in children to support non-invasive scoliosis adjustment. Although the encapsulated driving components are intended to be isolated from body fluid contact, in vivo corrosion was observed on these components due to sealing mechanism damage. Consequently, a corrosion circuit is created with the body fluids, resulting in malfunction of the lengthening mechanism. Particularly, the chloride ions in blood plasma or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may corrode the MCGR alloys, possibly resulting in metal ion release in long-term use. However, there is no data available on the corrosion resistance of spinal implant alloys in CSF. In this study, an in vitro immersion configuration was designed to simulate in vivo corrosion of 440C SS-Ti6Al4V couples. The 440C stainless steel (SS) was heat-treated to investigate the effect of tempering temperature on intergranular corrosion (IGC), while crevice and galvanic corrosion were studied by limiting the clearance of dissimilar couples. Tests were carried out in a neutral artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) and phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) under aeration and deaeration for 2 months. The composition of the passive films and metal ion release were analysed. The effect of galvanic coupling, pH, dissolved oxygen and anion species on corrosion rates and corrosion mechanisms are discussed based on quantitative and qualitative measurements. The results suggest that ACSF is more aggressive than PBS due to the combination of aggressive chlorides and sulphate anions, while phosphate in PBS acts as an inhibitor to delay corrosion. The presence of Vivianite on the SS surface in PBS lowered the corrosion rate (CR) more than 5 times for aeration and nearly 2 times for deaeration, compared with ACSF. The CR of 440C is dependent on passive film properties varied by tempering temperature and anion species. Although the CR of Ti6Al4V is insignificant, it tends to release more Ti ions in deaerated ACSF than under aeration, about 6 µg/L. It seems the crevice-like design has more effect on macroscopic corrosion than combining the dissimilar couple, whereas IGC is dominantly observed on sensitized microstructure.

Effects of Milling Process Parameters on Cutting Forces and Surface Roughness When Finishing Ti6al4v Produced by Electron Beam Melting

Electron Beam Melting (EBM) is a metal powder bed-based Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology, which uses computer-controlled electron beams to create fully dense three-dimensional near-net-shaped parts from metal powder. It gives the ability to produce any complex parts directly from a computer-aided design (CAD) model without tools and dies, and with a variety of materials. However, the quality of the surface finish in EBM process has limitations to meeting the performance requirements of additively manufactured components. The aim of this study is to investigate the cutting forces induced during milling Ti6Al4V produced by EBM as well as the surface quality of the milled surfaces. The effects of cutting speed and radial depth of cut on the cutting forces, surface roughness, and surface morphology were investigated. The results indicated that the cutting speed was found to be proportional to the resultant cutting force at any cutting conditions while the surface roughness improved significantly with the increase in cutting speed and radial depth of cut.

Modeling of Titanium Alloy Implant for Fractured Distal Femur

In the present work, reverse engineering (RE) approach has been used to create a 3D model of a fractured femur bone using the computed tomography (CT) scan data. Thereafter, counter fit fixation plates of Titanium alloy (Ti6Al4V) have been designed and analyzed considering physiological static loading conditions. From the analysis, it has been inferred that the stresses and deformation developed are quite low. It implies that these designed customized fixation plates are able to provide stable fixation resulting in improved fracture union.

An Investigation of Surface Texturing by Ultrasonic Impingement of Micro-Particles

Surface topography plays a significant role in the functional performance of engineered parts. It is important to have a control on the surface geometry and understanding on the surface details to get the desired performance. Hence, in the current research contribution, a non-contact micro-texturing technique has been explored and developed. The technique involves ultrasonic excitation of a tool as a prime source of surface texturing for aluminum alloy workpieces. The specimen surface is polished first and is then immersed in a liquid bath containing 10% weight concentration of Ti6Al4V grade 5 spherical powders. A submerged slurry jet is used to recirculate the spherical powders under the ultrasonic horn which is excited at an ultrasonic frequency and amplitude of 40 kHz and 70 µm respectively. The distance between the horn and workpiece surface was remained fixed at 200 µm using a precision control stage. Texturing effects were investigated for different process timings of 1, 3 and 5 s. Thereafter, the specimens were cleaned in an ultrasonic bath for 5 mins to remove loose debris on the surface. The developed surfaces are characterized by optical and contact surface profiler. The optical microscopic images show a texture of circular spots on the workpiece surface indented by titanium spherical balls. Waviness patterns obtained from contact surface profiler supports the texturing effect produced from the proposed technique. Furthermore, water droplet tests were performed to show the efficacy of the proposed technique to develop hydrophilic surfaces and to quantify the texturing effect produced.

Nanomechanical Characterization of Titanium Alloy Modified by Nitrogen Ion Implantation

An ion implantation technique was used for designing the surface area of a titanium alloy and for irradiation-enhanced hardening of the surface. The Ti6Al4V alloy was treated by nitrogen ion implantation at fluences of 2·1017 and 4·1017 cm-2 and at ion energy 90 keV. The depth distribution of the nitrogen was investigated by Rutherford Backscattering Spectroscopy. The gradient of mechanical properties was investigated by nanoindentation. The continuous measurement mode was used to obtain depth profiles of the indentation hardness and the reduced storage modulus of the modified surface area. The reduced storage modulus and the hardness increase with increasing fluence. Increased fluence shifts the peak of the mechanical properties as well as the peak of nitrogen concentration towards to the surface. This effect suggests a direct relationship between mechanical properties and nitrogen distribution.

Dependence of Densification, Hardness and Wear Behaviors of Ti6Al4V Powders on Sintering Temperature

The sintering step in powder metallurgy (P/M) processes is very sensitive as it determines to a large extent the properties of the final component produced. Spark plasma sintering over the past decade has been extensively used in consolidating a wide range of materials including metallic alloy powders. This novel, non-conventional sintering method has proven to be advantageous offering full densification of materials, high heating rates, low sintering temperatures, and short sintering cycles over conventional sintering methods. Ti6Al4V has been adjudged the most widely used α+β alloy due to its impressive mechanical performance in service environments, especially in the aerospace and automobile industries being a light metal alloy with the capacity for fuel efficiency needed in these industries. The P/M route has been a promising method for the fabrication of parts made from Ti6Al4V alloy due to its cost and material loss reductions and the ability to produce near net and intricate shapes. However, the use of this alloy has been largely limited owing to its relatively poor hardness and wear properties. The effect of sintering temperature on the densification, hardness, and wear behaviors of spark plasma sintered Ti6Al4V powders was investigated in this present study. Sintering of the alloy powders was performed in the 650–850°C temperature range at a constant heating rate, applied pressure and holding time of 100°C/min, 50 MPa and 5 min, respectively. Density measurements were carried out according to Archimedes’ principle and microhardness tests were performed on sectioned as-polished surfaces at a load of 100gf and dwell time of 15 s. Dry sliding wear tests were performed at varied sliding loads of 5, 15, 25 and 35 N using the ball-on-disc tribometer configuration with WC as the counterface material. Microstructural characterization of the sintered samples and wear tracks were carried out using SEM and EDX techniques. The density and hardness characteristics of sintered samples increased with increasing sintering temperature. Near full densification (99.6% of the theoretical density) and Vickers’ micro-indentation hardness of 360 HV were attained at 850°C. The coefficient of friction (COF) and wear depth improved significantly with increased sintering temperature under all the loading conditions examined, except at 25 N indicating better mechanical properties at high sintering temperatures. Worn surface analyses showed the wear mechanism was a synergy of adhesive and abrasive wears, although the former was prevalent.

Effect of Butt Joint Distortion and Comparison Study on Ti/Al Dissimilar Metal Using Laser Beam Welding

In general, it is desirable to finish the weld quickly, before a large volume of surrounding metal heats up and expands. The welding process used, type, welding current and speed of travel, thus, affect the degree of shrinkage and distortion of a weldment. The use of mechanized welding equipment reduces welding time, metal affected zone and consequently distortion. This article helps to define what weld distortion is and then provide a practical understanding of the causes of distortion, effects of shrinkage in butt joint welded assemblies using TI6AL4VA and Aluminium AA2024 alloy sheet. The beam offset position to the joint interface towards titanium and aluminium side. The factors affecting distortion during welding is also given. Test results reveal that welding speed is the significant parameter to decide the extent of distortion. Also welding from Al side reduces the distortion while Ti side increases the distortion.

Fuzzy Modeling for Micro EDM Parameters Optimization in Drilling of Biomedical Implants Ti-6Al-4V Alloy for Higher Machining Performance

Ti6Al4V alloy is highly used in the automotive and aerospace industry due to its good machining characteristics. Micro EDM drilling is commonly used to drill micro hole on extremely hard material with very high depth to diameter ratio. In this study, the parameters of micro-electrical discharge machining (EDM) in drilling of Ti6Al4V alloy is optimized for higher machining accuracy with less hole-dilation and hole taper ratio. The micro-EDM machining parameters includes, peak current and pulse on time. Fuzzy analysis was developed to evaluate the machining accuracy. The analysis shows that hole-dilation and hole-taper ratio are increased with the increasing of peak current and pulse on time. However, the surface quality deteriorates as the peak current and pulse on time increase. The combination that gives the optimum result for hole dilation is medium peak current and short pulse on time. Meanwhile, the optimum result for hole taper ratio is low peak current and short pulse on time.

Studies on Distortion of Dissimilar Thin Sheet Weld Joints Using Laser Beam Welding

To achieve reliable welds with minimum distortion for the fabrication of components in aerospace industry laser beam welding is attempted. Laser welding can provide a significant benefit for the welding of Titanium and Aluminium thin sheet alloys of its precision and rapid processing capability. For laser welding, pulse shape, energy, duration, repetition rate and peak power are the most important parameters that influence directly the quality of welds. In this experimental work for joining 1mm thick TI6AL4V and AA2024 alloy and JK600 Nd:YAG pulsed laser units used. The distortions at different welding power and speed of titanium and aluminium thin sheet alloys are investigated. Test results reveal that increase in welding speed increases distortion in weldment

Energy Consumption and Surface Finish Analysis of Machining Ti6Al4V

Greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions impose major threat to global warming potential (GWP). Unfortunately manufacturing sector is one of the major sources that contribute towards the rapid increase in greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. In manufacturing sector electric power consumption is the major driver that influences CO2 emission. Titanium alloys are widely utilized in aerospace, automotive and petrochemical sectors because of their high strength to weight ratio and corrosion resistance. Titanium alloys are termed as difficult to cut materials because of their poor machinability rating. The present study analyzes energy consumption during cutting with reference to material removal rate (MRR). Surface roughness was also measured in order to optimize energy consumption.

Modeling of Material Removal on Machining of Ti-6Al-4V through EDM using Copper Tungsten Electrode and Positive Polarity

This paper deals optimized model to investigate the effects of peak current, pulse on time and pulse off time in EDM performance on material removal rate of titanium alloy utilizing copper tungsten as electrode and positive polarity of the electrode. The experiments are carried out on Ti6Al4V. Experiments were conducted by varying the peak current, pulse on time and pulse off time. A mathematical model is developed to correlate the influences of these variables and material removal rate of workpiece. Design of experiments (DOE) method and response surface methodology (RSM) techniques are implemented. The validity test of the fit and adequacy of the proposed models has been carried out through analysis of variance (ANOVA). The obtained results evidence that as the material removal rate increases as peak current and pulse on time increases. The effect of pulse off time on MRR changes with peak ampere. The optimum machining conditions in favor of material removal rate are verified and compared. The optimum machining conditions in favor of material removal rate are estimated and verified with proposed optimized results. It is observed that the developed model is within the limits of the agreeable error (about 4%) when compared to experimental results. This result leads to desirable material removal rate and economical industrial machining to optimize the input parameters.

Effect of Scanning Speed on Material Efficiency of Laser Metal Deposited Ti6Al4V

The study of effect of laser scanning speed on material efficiency in Ti6Al4V application is very important because unspent powder is not reusable because of high temperature oxygen pick-up and contamination. This study carried out an extensive study on the effect of scanning speed on material efficiency by varying the speed between 0.01 to 0.1m/sec. The samples are wire brushed and cleaned with acetone after each deposition to remove un-melted particles from the surface of the deposit. The substrate is weighed before and after deposition. A formula was developed to calculate the material efficiency and the scanning speed was compared with the powder efficiency obtained. The results are presented and discussed. The study revealed that the optimum scanning speed exists for this study at 0.01m/sec, above and below which the powder efficiency will drop

Effect of Laser Power and Powder Flow Rate on Properties of Laser Metal Deposited Ti6Al4V

Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) is an additive manufacturing process with capabilities that include: producing new part directly from 3 Dimensional Computer Aided Design (3D CAD) model, building new part on the existing old component and repairing an existing high valued component parts that would have been discarded in the past. With all these capabilities and its advantages over other additive manufacturing techniques, the underlying physics of the LMD process is yet to be fully understood probably because of high interaction between the processing parameters and studying many parameters at the same time makes it further complex to understand. In this study, the effect of laser power and powder flow rate on physical properties (deposition height and deposition width), metallurgical property (microstructure) and mechanical (microhardness) properties on laser deposited most widely used aerospace alloy are studied. Also, because the Ti6Al4V is very expensive, and LMD is capable of reducing buy-to-fly ratio of aerospace parts, the material utilization efficiency is also studied. Four sets of experiments were performed and repeated to establish repeatability using laser power of 1.8 kW and 3.0 kW, powder flow rate of 2.88 g/min and 5.67 g/min, and keeping the gas flow rate and scanning speed constant at 2 l/min and 0.005 m/s respectively. The deposition height / width are found to increase with increase in laser power and increase in powder flow rate. The material utilization is favoured by higher power while higher powder flow rate reduces material utilization. The results are presented and fully discussed.

Investigation of Titanium Oxide Layer in Thermal-Electrochemical Anodizing of Ti6Al4V Alloy

In this paper the combination of thermal oxidation and electrochemical anodizing processes is used to produce titanium oxide layers. The response of titanium alloy Ti6Al4V to oxidation processes at various temperatures and electrochemical anodizing in various voltages are investigated. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM); X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and porosity determination have been used to characterize the oxide layer thickness, surface morphology, oxide layer-substrate adhesion and porosity. In the first experiment, samples modified by thermal oxidation process then followed by electrochemical anodizing. Second experiment consists of surfaces modified by electrochemical anodizing process and then followed by thermal oxidation. The first method shows better properties than other one. In second experiment, Surfaces modified were achieved by thicker and more adherent thick oxide layers on titanium surface. The existence of an electrochemical anodized oxide layer did not improve the adhesion of thermal oxide layer. The high temperature, thermal formation of an oxide layer leads to a coarse oxide grain morphology and a complete oxidative particle. In addition, in high temperature oxidation porosity content is increased. The oxide layer of thermal oxidation and electrochemical anodizing processes; on Ti–6Al–4V substrate was covered with different colored oxide layers.