Author(s): Schinhammer M, Hnzi AC, Lffler JF, Uggowitzer PJ
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Abstract The aim of this article is to describe a design strategy for the development of new biodegradable Fe-based alloys offering a performance considered appropriate for temporary implant applications, in terms of both an enhanced degradation rate compared to pure iron, and suitable strength and ductility. The design strategy is based on electrochemical, microstructural and toxicological considerations. The influence of alloying elements on the electrochemical modification of the Fe matrix and the controlled formation of noble intermetallic phases is deployed. Such intermetallic phases are responsible for both an increased degradation rate and enhanced strength. Manganese and palladium have been shown to be suitable alloying additions for this design strategy: Mn lowers the standard electrode potential, while Pd forms noble (Fe,Mn)Pd intermetallics that act as cathodic sites. We discuss the efficiency and the potential of the design approach, and evaluate the resulting characteristics of the new alloys using metal-physical experiments including electrochemical measurements, phase identification analysis and electron microscopy studies. The newly developed Fe-Mn-Pd alloys reveal a degradation resistance that is one order of magnitude lower than observed for pure iron. Additionally, the mechanical performance is shown to be adjustable not only by the choice of alloying elements but also by heat treatment procedures; high strength values >1400MPa at ductility levels >10\% can be achieved. Thus, the new alloys offer an attractive combination of electrochemical and mechanical characteristics considered suitable for biodegradable medical applications. Copyright (c) 2009 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Acta Biomater
and referenced in Journal of Biotechnology & Biomaterials