SURFACE PROPERTIES OF IMPLANTS MANUFACTURED USING ELECTRON BEAM MELTING
Abstract: This thesis summarizes the results concerning the manufacture of medical implants for bone replacement using electron beam melting (EBM) which is an additive manufacturing (AM) technology, and aims to satisfy the engineering needs for the medical functionality of manufacturing technology. This thesis has focused on some microscopic properties for surfaces and bone integration. The process parameters of EBM manufacturing were studied to ascertain whether they have impacts on surface appearance, as surface properties have impacts on bone integration and implant performance.EBM manufacturing uses an electron beam to melt metal powder onto each layer in a manner akin to welding. The electron beam is controlled by process parameters that may be altered to a certain extent by the operator. There are individual process parameters for every material, and new parameters are set when developing new materials. In this thesis, process parameters in default settings were altered to ascertain whether it was possible to specify process parameters for implant manufacturing. The blood chamber model was used for thromboinflammation validation, using human whole blood. The model is used to identify early reactions of coagulation and immunoreactions. The material used in this study was Ti6Al4V-ELI, which is corrosion resistant and has the same surface oxide layers as titanium, and CoCr-F75, which has high stiffness, is wear-resistant and is commonly used in articulating joints.The study shows that among the process parameters researched, a combination of speed and current have the most impact on surface roughness and an interaction of parameters were found using design of experiment (DOE). As-built EBM surfaces show thrombogenicity, which in previous studies has been associated with bone ingrowth.Surface structure of as-build EBM manufactured surfaces are similar to implants surfaces described by Pilliar (2005), but with superior material properties than those of implants with sintered metals beads. By altering the process parameters controlling the electron beam, surface roughness of as-build parts may be affected, and the rougher EBM manufactured surfaces tend to be more thrombogen than the finer EBM manufactured surfaces. As-build EBM manufactured surfaces in general show more thrombogenicity than conventional machined implants surfaces.
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