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Open AccessArticle

Investigation of Copper Alloying in a TNTZ-Cux Alloy

1
Division of Applied Material Science, Department of Engineering Sciences, The Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala University, Box 534, 75121 Uppsala, Sweden
2
Centre for High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy, Department of Physics, Nelson Mandela University, 6031 Port Elizabeth, South Africa
3
Sandvik, Lerkrogsvägen 13, 12680 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3691; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12223691 (registering DOI)
Received: 16 October 2019 / Revised: 5 November 2019 / Accepted: 6 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ti-Based Biomaterials: Synthesis, Properties and Applications)
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, Ti2Cu, and a bright phase with Ti, Cu and Ta in the crystal. The Ti2Cu 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 Ti2Cu phase. Further studies to optimize the alloy could result in a suitable material for dental implants. View Full-Text
Keywords: titanium alloy; microstructures; biomaterial; TNTZ titanium alloy; microstructures; biomaterial; TNTZ
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Fowler, L.; Janse Van Vuuren, A.; Goosen, W.; Engqvist, H.; Öhman-Mägi, C.; Norgren, S. Investigation of Copper Alloying in a TNTZ-Cux Alloy. Materials 2019, 12, 3691.

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