DMREF: Design Knowledge Base of Low-Modulus Titanium Alloys for Biomedical Applications

Project: Research project

Project Details


The research objective of this Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) project is to establish a fundamental knowledge base to enable accelerated design of advanced low-modulus (20-30 GPa to match that of bone) Ti alloys for biomedical prosthetic devices. The team will: 1) employ first-principles calculations to predict elastic modulus and thermodynamic phase stability of the Ti-Mo-Nb-Ta-Zr system; 2) use high-throughput diffusion multiples and micron resolution materials property measurement tools to obtain large amount of materials property data; 3) establish CALPHAD-type databases of thermodynamics and elastic modulus for the 5-component system; and 4) employ direct laser deposition to validate model predictions. Integration of these computational and experimental tools will achieve a multifold increase in the efficiency of establishing composition-structure-property relationships in comparison with traditional methods based on individual alloys, and thus will fundamentally change the way future materials databases are established.

An aging population with an extended lifespan is demanding more and more biomedical prosthetic devices, such as knee and hip replacements, to sustain an active lifestyle. Biocompatible Ti alloys are considered to be one of the best options for such implants. The ability to tailor the composition and microstructure to design alloys to meet specific property requirements is the goal of the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) in general and the purpose of this study in particular. The approach developed here will significantly speed up data generation for rapid establishment of digital materials property databases for accelerated design of new materials. The timely design of high-performance materials is critical to the global competitiveness of US manufacturing. All digital data generated from this study will be published and archived in the MGI informatics infrastructure. This project will educate next-generation materials engineers who will master both advanced computational and experimental approaches to better serve the society. The research and education of this study will also help usher in a new paradigm of materials innovation where materials design is conducted by up-front simulations followed by key validation experiments in contrast to the current approach that is based on experimental iterations followed by mechanistic characterization.

Effective start/end date9/1/138/31/17


  • National Science Foundation: $1,000,000.00


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