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Preparation, structural, microstructural, mechanical and cytotoxic characterization of as-cast Ti-25Ta-Zr alloys

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Titanium alloys have been widely used as biomaterials, especially for orthopedic prostheses and dental implants, but these materials have Young's modulus almost three times greater than human cortical bones. Because of this, new alloys are being produced for the propose of decreasing Young's modulus to achieve a more balanced mechanical compatibility with the bone. In this paper, it is reported the development of Ti-25Ta alloys as a base material, in which was introduced zirconium, with concentration varying between 0 and 40 wt%, with the aim of biomedical applications. The alloys were prepared in an arc-melting furnace. The microstructural analysis was performed by x-ray diffraction as well as optical and scanning electron microscopy. Selected mechanical properties were analyzed by microhardness and Young’s modulus measurements, and cytotoxicity analysis by indirect test. X-ray measurements revealed the presence of α″ phase in the alloy without zirconium; α″ + β phases for alloys with 10, 20, and 30 wt% of zirconium, and β phase only for the alloy with 40 wt% of zirconium. These results were corroborated by the microscopy results. The hardness of the alloy was higher than that of cp-Ti due to the actions of zirconium and tantalum as hardening agents. The Young’s modulus decreases with high levels of zirconium due to the stabilization of the β phase. The cytotoxicity test showed that the extracts of studied alloys are not cytotoxic for osteoblast cells in short periods of culture.

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The authors would like to thank the Faculdade de Ciências de Bauru, UNESP, for the XRD and SEM measurements. This study was supported by the following funding agencies FAPESP (grant #2013/09.063-5 and #2015/09.480-0) and CNPq (grants #307.279/2013-8, #137.221/2015-0, #157.509/2015-0 and #400.705/2015-0).

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Correspondence to Carlos Roberto Grandini.

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Kuroda, P.A.B., de Freitas Quadros, F., Sousa, K.d.S.J. et al. Preparation, structural, microstructural, mechanical and cytotoxic characterization of as-cast Ti-25Ta-Zr alloys. J Mater Sci: Mater Med 31, 19 (2020).

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