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Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Mg/Zn Composites Fabricated by Spark Plasma Sintering for Biomedical Implants

Pham Ngoc Dinh, Dinh Van Hai and Equo Kobayashi


Magnesium stands as the most promising candidate for temporary fixation implants due to its superior biological properties and comparable mechanical properties to those of human bones. However, the initial mechanical properties of Magnesium are insufficient for these applications. In the present study, magnesium composites with 5 or 10 at% Zn were fabricated by means of the spark plasma sintering (SPS) method in order to enhance the mechanical properties. Intermetallic compounds formed by in-situ reaction between Mg and Zn were characterized by X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Ascomposited microstructure observed by optical microscopy clearly revealed a quite homogeneous distribution of intermetallic phases with some aggregations. The hardness of these phases showed much higher values compared to that of Mgmatrix. The reactions are considered to strengthen the materials by producing hard intermetallic phases contributing as the reinforcements and enhancing the interfacial bonding between them and the matrix. The compression test results illustrated the much higher strengths of composites in comparison with those of pure magnesium. Hardness and compressive strength of composites indicated the good bonding between the matrix and reinforcement due to the same tendency in increasing of the values.

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