Colloidal processing of nanozirconia-MWCNT composites for biomedical applications

Nere Garmendia 1Isabel Santacruz 2Rodrigo Moreno 2Isabel Obieta 1

1. INASMET-TECNALIA, San Sebastián 20009, Spain
2. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas ICV (ICV-CSIC), Kelsen nº5, Madrid 28049, Spain


Nanocrystalline zirconia has interesting properties for biomedical applications, such as its biocompatibility and good mechanical response, but it has a major problem concerning its low temperature ageing that reduces fracture toughness. The addition of a second phase reduces ageing and improves fracture toughness. The aim of this work was to produce nanostructured materials consisting of a nanocrystalline zirconia matrix reinforced with a second phase of multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) for biomedical applications, viz. hip prosthesis, in order to improve the mechanical properties of the material and to enhance its mean life.

MWCNT were partially coated by nanosized zirconia under hydrothermal conditions. Suspensions of zirconia with and without zirconia-coated MWCNTs were processed by a colloidal route. Dispersing conditions were studied through particle size distribution, zeta potential and rheological behaviour of concentrated suspensions in terms of pH, deflocculant content, solids loading, suspension ageing, etc. The suspensions were slip cast in plaster moulds in order to obtain homogeneous green samples. The effect of different amounts of second phase of MWCNT in the zirconia matrix was studied through the rheological behaviour of the suspensions, and the characteristics of the cast specimens, such as the density and microstructural features.

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Presentation: Invited oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008, Symposium I, by Rodrigo Moreno
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2008

Submitted: 2008-05-20 10:16
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:48
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