Nanocrystalline Titanium shows Exceptional Mechanical Properties

Novel processing of commercially pure titanium (CP Ti) has produced exceptional mechanical properties and recent clinical trials have proven its superior biocompatibility as well. CP Ti is desirable mainly for its superior biocompatibility, but suffers from low strength compared to either steel or alloyed titaniums. Severe plastic deformation (SPD) processing aims to get microstructural refinement to a level not achievable with traditional processing yielding nanocrystalline titanium. Fatigue life has nearly doubled and although damage tolerance suffered, the levels are still more than acceptable for medical devices. Mouse fibroblast cells were seeded to test biological compatibility, and the SPD-processed titanium showed significant improvements in cell occupancy rates, compared to conventionally processed CP Ti. Clinical trials of this material are progressing well using dental implants, where the higher strength has allowed for smaller implants to be fabricated, enabling surgeries that were previously limited by small spaces and insufficient bone to anchor the implant.

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