The objective of this study was to physico/chemically characterize and determine the corrosion resistance of a Calcium-Phosphate (Ca-P) based bioceramic thin coating processed by a sputtering process on titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V). The samples utilized in this study were uncoated and coated disks of 10 mm diameter by 3 mm thickness. The coating was characterized by SEM, XPS + ion beam milling (IBM), thin-film mode XRD, and atomic force microscope (AFM) (n = 3). Coated and uncoated Ti-6Al-4V disk surfaces were tested in Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS) at 25 degrees C through an area of 0.79 cm(2). A three-electrode cell set-up was used with a saturated calomel electrode (SCE) and a platinum wire as reference and counter electrodes. After 3, 17, and 25 days of immersion, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) experiments were performed (n = 3). The EIS tests were carried out in potentiostatic mode at the open circuit potential (OCP). The frequency range considered was from 100 kHz to 10 mHz, using 10 mV root mean square as the amplitude of the perturbation signal. A potentiodynamic polarization scan using a frequency response analyzer potentiostat, was acquired following 3 days of immersion in PBS. The potentiodynamic polarization scans (n = 3) were carried out with a scan rate of 1 mV/s ranging from -0.8V(SCE) to 3.0V(SCE).
Results: The physico/chemical characterization showed an amorphous Ca- and P-based coating of approximately 400-700 nm thickness with Ca-P nanometer size particles embedded in a Ca-P matrix. The Bode phase angle diagrams showed highly capacitive results at low and medium frequencies for both surfaces tested. The polarization curves showed low current densities at the corrosion potential (E (corr)), in the order of 10(-8)A/cm(2), typical of passive materials with protective surface films. Coated sample current densities were comparable to the uncoated samples.
Conclusion: Coated and uncoated samples were stable in the test solution with a protective film maintained throughout the 25 day immersion test period.