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Development and Evaluation of a Magnesium-Zinc-Strontium Alloy for Biomedical Applications - Alloy Processing, Microstructure, Mechanical Properties, and Biodegradation

posted Nov 30, 2013, 6:31 PM by Huinan Liu   [ updated Nov 30, 2013, 6:44 PM ]
Guan R, Cipriano AF*, Zhao Z, Lock JY*, Tie D, Zhao T, Cui T, Liu H. Development and Evaluation of a Magnesium-Zinc-Strontium Alloy for Biomedical Applications - Alloy Processing, Microstructure, Mechanical Properties, and Biodegradation. Materials Science and Engineering: C. 33(7): 3661-3669, 2013.

Abstract - A new biodegradable magnesium–zinc–strontium (Mg–Zn–Sr) alloy was developed and studied for medical implant applications. This first study investigated the alloy processing (casting, rolling, and heat treatment), microstructures, mechanical properties, and degradation properties in simulated body fluid (SBF). Aging treatment of the ZSr41 alloy at 175 °C for 8 h improved the mechanical properties when compared to those of the as-cast alloy. Specifically, the aged ZSr41 alloy had an ultimate tensile strength of 270 MPa, Vickers hardness of 71.5 HV, and elongation at failure of 12.8%. The mechanical properties of the ZSr41 alloy were superior as compared with those of pure magnesium and met the requirements for load-bearing medical implants. Furthermore, the immersion of the ZSr41 alloy in SBF showed a degradation mode that progressed cyclically, alternating between pitting and localized corrosion. The steady-state average degradation rate of the aged ZSr41 alloy in SBF was 0.96 g/(m2·hr), while the pH of SBF immersion solution increased. The corrosion current density of the ZSr41 alloy in SBF solution was 0.41 mA/mm2, which was much lower than 1.67 mA/mm2 for pure Mg under the same conditions. In summary, compared to pure Mg, the mechanical properties of the new ZSr41 alloy improved while the degradation rate decreased due to the addition of Zn and Sr alloying elements and specific processing conditions. The superior mechanical properties and corrosion resistance of the new ZSr41 alloy make it a promising alloy for next-generation implant applications.