ISSUE 1/2009

/// 04
Katrin Hagemann, Aachen, Dirk Fettweis, Aachen, Germany, Christof Dahmen, Düren, Germany, Andreas Bührig-Polaczek, Aachen, Germany
Open cell sponge structures: Casting high melting alloys for biomedical applications

This publication presents the first results of the research activities within the project “Investigation and characterisation of open cell metallic implant structures with a ceramic, bioactive coating” (MEDFOAM), funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The primary goal is the creation of a new implant material with increased biocompatibility. In a multidisciplinary approach, the project covers every relevant step necessary for the development of a new material and manufacturing process: starting with the production and modification of the material and incorporating material testing from basic mechanical characterisation up to the testing of the suitability of a novel material for medical applications.
The targeted manufacturing process requires the adaptation, combination and optimisation of established casting routes for cellular metals with low melting temperatures and biocompatible alloys – in this case stainless steel and Ti 6Al 7Nb. Both moulding material and process parameters must be fitted to the ambitious requirements of casting reactive alloys at necessarily high temperatures. First tests, conducted with high performance centrifugal casting devices, have delivered promising results.




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