Alloying copper into pure titanium has recently allowed the development of antibacterial alloys. The alloying of biocompatible elements (Nb, Ta and Zr) into pure titanium has also achieved higher strengths for a new alloy of Ti-1.6 wt.% Nb-10 wt.% Ta-1.7 wt.% Zr (TNTZ), where strength was closer to Ti-6Al-4V and higher than grade 4 titanium. In the present study, as a first step towards development of a novel antibacterial material with higher strength, the existing TNTZ was alloyed with copper to investigate the resultant microstructural changes and properties. The initial design and modelling of the alloy system was performed using the calculation of phase diagrams (CALPHAD) methods, to predict the phase transformations in the alloy. Following predictions, the alloys were produced using arc melting with appropriate heat treatments. The alloys were characterized using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy in scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM-EDS) with transmission Kikuchi diffraction (TKD). The manufactured alloys had a three-phased crystal structure that was found in the alloys with 3 wt.% Cu and higher, in line with the modelled alloy predictions. The phases included the α-Ti (HCP-Ti) with some Ta present in the crystal, Ti2
Cu, and a bright phase with Ti, Cu and Ta in the crystal. The Ti2
Cu crystals tended to precipitate in the grain boundaries of the α-Ti phase and bright phase. The hardness of the alloys increased with increased Cu addition, as did the presence of the Ti2
Cu phase. Further studies to optimize the alloy could result in a suitable material for dental implants.
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