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topic 17436

Prevention of titanium galling in spine implant


I design implants for spine surgery and I am having trouble with friction and galling between two titanium parts. One part is Ti6Al4V. The other is commercially pure grade 4 titanium (CP4). The alloy has a hardness of 32-36 Rc and the CP4 hardness is 24-28 Rc. Surface pressures are approximately 25 ksi. I want to apply a coating to each surface to reduce the coefficient of friction and prevent galling. The coatings must be biocompatible and resistant to a steam autoclave sterilization cycle. Currently the Ti6Al4V part is hard coat anodized and the CP4 part has no treatment. My initial idea is to hardcoat the CP4 part, and TiN coat the TI6Al4V part. Both processes are biocompatible and survive autoclave but I very open to other idea. My initial ideas have included Teflon coatings, polishing, TiN coatings and the use of other titanium alloys with different hardnesses. Any help is greatly appreciated.


Michael Landry
- Austin, Texas


Dear Mr. Landry:

Nitrogen or carbon ion implantation has been used with success to address friction and wear issues on Ti alloy orthopedic implants.


Jim Arps
- San Antonio, Texas


Dear Michael:

I am working with the Nanotechnology Laboratory at The University of Nebraska Medical Center. Nitrogen and Oxygen cannot be used, we have addressed this problem.


Shailaja Varma
- Omaha, Nebraska

August 28, 2009

Sir Michael,
My application is on Titanium 6-4 also, but in a different industry. I suggest that you consider Tiodize II. They will furnish test data.

John Watts
- Austin, Texas

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