Electrophoretic Deposition of Hydroxyapatite Coatings on Metal Substrates: A Nanoparticulate Dual-Coating Approach

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Journal Article
Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology, 2001, 21 (1-2), pp. 39 - 48
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Hydroxyapatite coatings can be readily deposited on metal substrates by electrophoretic deposition. However, subsequent sintering is highly problematic owing to the fact that temperatures in excess of 1100°C are required for commercial hydroxyapatite powders to achieve high density. Such temperatures damage the metal and induce metal-catalysed decomposition of the hydroxyapatite. Furthermore, the firing shrinkage of the hydroxyapatite coating on a constraining metal substrate leads to severe cracking. The present study has overcome these problems using a novel approach: the use of aged nanoparticulate hydroxyapatite sols (lower sintering temperature) and a dual coating strategy that overcomes the cracking problem. Dual layers of uncalcined hydroxyapatite (HAp) powder were electrophoretically coated on Ti, Ti6Al4V and 316L stainless steel metal substrates, sintered at 8751000°C, and characterised by SEM and XRD, and interfacial shear strength measurement. Dual coatings on stainless steel had an average high bond strength (about 23 MPa), and dual coatings on titanium and titanium alloy had moderate strengths (about 14 and 11 MPa, respectively), in comparison with the measured shear strength of bone (35 MPa). SEM and XRD demonstrated that the second layer blended seamlessly with the first and filled the cracks in the first. The superior result on stainless steel is attributed to a more appropriate thermal expansion match with hydroxyapatite, the thinner oxide layer, or a combination of these factors.
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