Interdiffusion in short-fibre reinforced hydroxyapatite ceramics

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Journal Article
Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, 1998, 9 (10), pp. 589 - 596
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Sintering in air and hot isostatic pressing are production methods regarded as being capable of producing fibre-reinforced hydroxyapatite ceramics for biomedical applications. These composites may have the advantage of improved mechanical properties and be suitable for applications in areas where there are significant levels of load on the material. The use of pure hydroxyapatite is restricted to those free of dynamical load. Obtaining improved mechanical strength is a question of the bond between the matrix phase and the fibre-reinforcement phase. However, a chemical bond between both phases, indicated by large diffusion zones, might lead to the dehydration of the hydroxyapatite leading to undesired tricalcium phosphate in the matrix resulting in a weakening of the mechanical and biological stability of the composites. Composites with three fibre types, alumina, 316L-stainless steel and titanium were prepared and sintered in air or hot isostatically pressed. A reaction zone was noted around the titanium and stainless steel fibres, but not around the alumina fibres. The reaction zone was larger for stainless steel than titanium. Hot isostatic pressing also reduced the reaction zone markedly compared to sintering in air.
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