Titanium and titanium alloys are promising implant metallic materials because of their high strengths, low elastic moduli, high corrosion resistances, and excellent biocompatibilities. A large difference in elastic modulus between the implant material and bone leads to a stress shielding effect, which increases the probability of implant separation or decrease in the bone density around it. Thus, a lower elastic modulus is required for a better implant metallic material. β titanium has a lower elastic modulus and high strength and can reduce the probability of the stress shielding effect. In this study, the applicability of the Ti-39Nb-6Zr+0.45Al alloy, obtained by adding a small amount of aluminum to the Ti-39Nb-6Zr alloy, as a biomedical implant material was evaluated. The mechanical properties and biocompatibility of the alloy were evaluated. The biocompatibility of Ti-39Nb-6Zr+0.45Al was similar to that of Ti-39Nb-6Zr according to in vitro and in vivo experiments. In addition, the biological corrosion resistances were evaluated through a corrosion test using a 0.9% NaCl solution, which is equivalent to physiological saline. The corrosion resistance was improved by the addition of Al. The yield strength of the Ti-39Nb-6Zr+0.45Al alloy was improved by approximately 20%. The excellent biocompatibility confirmed its feasibility for use as a biomedical implant material.
Keywords: Ti-39Nb-6Zr alloy; biocompatibility; biological corrosion resistance; mechanical property.