Abstract:Functionally graded lattice structures produced by additive manufacturing are promising for bone tissue engineering. Spatial variations in their porosity are reported to vary the stiffness and make it comparable to cortical or trabecular bone. However, the interplay between the mechanical properties and biological response of functionally graded lattices is less clear. Here we show that by designing continuous gradient structures and studying their mechanical and biological properties simultaneously, orthopedic implant design can be improved and guidelines can be established. Our continuous gradient structures were generated by gradually changing the strut diameter of a body centered cubic (BCC) unit cell. This approach enables a smooth transition between unit cell layers and minimizes the effect of stress discontinuity within the scaffold. Scaffolds were fabricated using selective laser melting (SLM) and underwent mechanical and in vitro biological testing. Our results indicate that optimal gradient structures should possess small pores in their core (~900 µm) to increase their mechanical strength whilst large pores (~1100 µm) should be utilized in their outer surface to enhance cell penetration and proliferation. We suggest this approach could be widely used in the design of orthopedic implants to maximize both the mechanical and biological properties of the implant.
Equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) is a well-established thermo-mechanical processing technique. This technique allows virtually unlimited strain and manipulation of texture by processing route, while the cross-section of the sample remains unchanged during processing. In order to clarify the effectiveness of ECAP on preparing anisotropic permanent magnets, the microstructure and magnetic properties of a melt-spun Nd13.5Fe73.8Co6.7B5.6Ga0.4 alloy processed at 773 K for 300 s by ECAP were investigated. Macrotexture analysis carried out for the exit channel of ECAP shows that the basal plane of the tetragonal Nd2Fe14B crystal aligns parallel to the shear band, i.e., the c-axis texture formation normal to the shear band induced by the ECAP process. Due to this texture formation, the technical magnetization behaviour becomes anisotropic, and the remanent magnetization is clearly enhanced along the direction perpendicular to the shear band. This anisotropic microstructure is realized at a relatively low processing temperature of 773 K, well below the melting point of the Nd-rich intergranular phase. As a consequence of this lower processing temperature, the nanostructure of the melt-spun alloy remains approximately 20 to 30 nm, considerably smaller than the typical grain size obtained after conventional die-upsetting. Our study demonstrates that equal-channel angular pressing has a potential for realising anisotropic nanostructured magnets.
Equal channel angular pressing (ECAP) is a well-established thermo-mechanical processing technique which could induce c-axis texture of Nd2Fe14B in a melt-spun Nd13.5Fe73.8Co6.7B5.6Ga0.4 alloy. However, the effects of ECAP processing parameters such as temperature, backward-pressure and multiple-pass ECAP routes remain unknown for this alloy. In this work we have investigated the effects of these processing parameters on the c-axis texture formation. It is found by xray diffraction macrotexture analysis that the maximum intensity of 001 pole figures for the tetragonal-Nd2Fe14B phase (Imax) shows an increase from 2.7 to 4.1 m.r.d. (multiples of random distribution) by increasing the ECAP temperature from 723 to 823 K, while the difference in remanent magnetization between easy and hard directions (ΔMr ) rises from 24.0 Am 2 /kg to 41.5 Am 2 /kg. When the back-pressure was increased from 0.25 to 0.5 GPa at 823 K, Imax showed an increase from 2.8 to 4.1 m.r.d. However, Imax saturated for back-pressures above 0.5 GPa, suggesting that back pressure has limited effect on the texture formation, although it is necessary for compaction of the alloy powders. Two multiple-pass ECAP routes conventionally known as route-A and -C were employed for two-pass ECAP at 823 K. It is found that the route A processing is effective in enhancing the texture formation while the texture is lost by a subsequent pressing when adopting route C. Therefore, compaction of Nd13.5Fe73.8Co6.7B5.6Ga0.4 alloy powder using route A ECAP passes with 0.5 GPa backpressure at 823 K results in pronounced texture, which is beneficial for anisotropic hard magnetic properties.
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