2003 Volume 44 Issue 11 Pages 2384-2390
This study attempts to develop Ti-Nb alloys with elastic moduli that approach that of human bone. The experimental results reveal that the microstructure of a Ti-Nb alloy that contains 14 mass% Nb consists of α and β phases, with α phase being the dominant one. The proportion of the α phase decreases gradually as the Nb content increases, and the microstructure becomes completely the β phase when the Nb content exceeds 34 mass%. Moreover, the ω phase can be detected using XRD and TEM in alloys with a Nb content from 30 to 34 mass%. Over the Nb range studied (14 to 40 mass%), the elastic modulus decreases from 14 to 26 mass% Nb, and then increases to a maximum at 34 mass% Nb, before falling again as Nb content is increased further. The elastic modulus of the Ti-Nb alloys is closely related to the microstructure (or Nb content) of the alloys. The fall in the elastic modulus with the increasing Nb content from 14 to 26 mass% is associated with a gradual decrease in the proportion of the α phase in the microstructure, while the precipitation of the ω phase accounts for the increase in the elastic modulus over the intermediate range of Nb (30 to 34 mass%). The tensile strength of Ti-Nb alloys increases slightly from 14 to 26 mass% Nb, and then increases markedly with a Nb content of up to 34 mass%, before falling drastically as Nb content is increased further. A similar pattern was obtained for 0.2% proof stress, while the elongation vs. %Nb curve was just the reverse of the T.S. vs. %Nb curve, as expected. A Ti-Nb alloy with a relatively high Nb content (above 36 mass%) is preferred to other compositions for use in medical implants with a reduced stress shielding effect.