CHARACTERIZATION OF Ti AND Co BASED BIOMATERIALS PROCESSED VIA LASER BASED ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING
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Titanium and Cobalt based metallic materials are currently the most ideal materials for load-bearing metallic bio medical applications. However, the long term tribological degradation of these materials still remains a problem that needs a solution. To improve the tribological performance of these two metallic systems, three different research approaches were adapted, stemming out four different research projects. First, the simplicity of laser gas nitriding was utilized with a modern LENSTM technology to form an in situ nitride rich later in titanium substrate material. This nitride rich composite coating improved the hardness by as much as fifteen times and reduced the wear rate by more than a magnitude. The leaching of metallic ions during wear was also reduced by four times. In the second research project, a mixture of titanium and silicon were processed on a titanium substrate in a nitrogen rich environment. The results of this reactive, in situ additive manufacturing process were Ti-Si-Nitride coatings that were harder than the titanium substrate by more than twenty times. These coatings also reduced the wear rate by more than two magnitudes. In the third research approach, composites of CoCrMo alloy and Calcium phosphate (CaP) bio ceramic were processed using LENSTM based additive manufacturing. These composites were effective in reducing the wear in the CoCrMo alloy by more than three times as well as reduce the leaching of cobalt and chromium ions during wear. The novel composite materials were found to develop a tribofilm during wear. In the final project, a combination of hard nitride coating and addition of CaP bioceramic was investigated by processing a mixture of Ti6Al4V alloy and CaP in a nitrogen rich environment using the LENSTM technology. The resultant Ti64-CaP-Nitride coatings significantly reduced the wear damage on the substrate. There was also a drastic reduction in the metal ions leached during wear. The results indicate that the three tested approaches for reducing the wear damage in Ti and Co based were successful. These approaches and the associated research investigations could pave the way for future work in alleviating wear and corrosion related damage, especially via the additive manufacturing route.