This study reports the development of magnesium alloy/hydroxyapatite-based biodegradable metal matrix composites (BMMCs) through rapid microwave sintering. Magnesium alloy (AZ31) and hydroxyapatite powder were used in four compositions 0, 10, 15 and 20% by weight. Developed BMMCs were characterized to evaluate physical, microstructural, mechanical and biodegradation characteristics. XRD results show Mg and HA as major phases and MgO as a minor phase. SEM results correlate with the XRD findings by identifying the presence of Mg, HA and MgO. The addition of HA powder particles reduced density and increased the microhardness of BMMCs. The compressive strength and Young’s modulus increased with increasing HA up to 15 wt.%. AZ31-15HA exhibited the highest corrosion resistance and lowest relative weight loss in the immersion test for 24 h and weight gain after 72 and 168 h due to the deposition of Mg(OH)2 and Ca(OH)2 layers at the sample surface. XRD analysis of the AZ31-15HA sintered sample after an immersion test was carried out and these results revealed the presence of new phases Mg(OH)2 and Ca(OH)2 that could be the reason for enhancing the corrosion resistance. SEM elemental mapping result also confirmed the formation of Mg(OH)2 and Ca(OH)2 at the sample surface, which acted as protective layers and prevented the sample from further corrosion. It showed that the elements were uniformly distributed over the sample surface. In addition, these microwave-sintered BMMCs showed similar properties to the human cortical bone and help bone growth by depositing apatite layers at the surface of the sample. Furthermore, this apatite layer can enhance osteoblast formation due to the porous structure type, which was observed in the BMMCs. Therefore, it is indicative that developed BMMCs can be an artificial biodegradable composite for orthopedic applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- Condensed Matter Physics