Micro- and nano-indentation of a hydroxyapatite-carbon nanotube composite

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Journal Article
Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2008, 8 (8), pp. 3936 - 3941
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The mechanical properties of pure synthetic hydroxyapatite and hydroxyapatite-carbon nanotube composites were examined. Vickers microhardness and nanoindentation using a Berkovich tipped indenter were used to determine the hardness, fracture toughness and Young's modulus of the pure hydroxyapatite matrix and the composite materials. Microscopy showed that for the composites produced the carbon nanotubes were present as discrete clumps. These clumps induced a detrimental effect on the hardness of the materials, while the fracture toughness values were not affected. This would be undesirable in terms of using the material for biomedical implant applications. It should be noted that the carbon nanotubes used contained free graphite. As the properties of the composite materials studied were not greatly improved over the matrix, it is speculated that if the graphite phase were removed from the reagent, this could in-turn enhance the properties of the material. Copyright © 2008 American Scientific Publishers All rights reserved.
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