An assessment of ultra fine grained 316L stainless steel for implant applications
Ultra fine-grained metals obtained by severe plastic deformation exhibit higher specific strength that is useful for many applications and show promise for use as body implants. This work studied the microstructural evolution, mechanical and sliding wear behavior and corrosion behavior of 316L stainless steel warm multi axially forged at 600 °C. Microstructural evolution studied using electron backscatter diffraction technique and transmission electron microscopy confirmed the formation of ultra fine-grained structure. Average grain size reduced from 30 μm to 0.86 μm after nine strain steps. A combination of Hall–Petch strengthening and strain hardening increased the hardness. Improved sliding wear resistance is attributed to a transition from micro cutting to wedge-forming mode of abrasive wear. Load-bearing orthopedic implants often fail from pitting initiated corrosion fatigue. Potentiodynamic tests, cyclic polarization, and FeCl3 immersion tests revealed enhanced pitting resistance of forged steel that is confirmed by Mott–Schottky analysis. This is ascribed to an increase in the grain boundary volume, and homogenization of pit inducing impurities and non-metallic phases due to severe deformation, which influenced the passive film properties. These model studies on 316L steel demonstrate that severely deformed ultra fine-grained metals have potential to deliver improved implant performance.Statement of significanceThis model study on 316L steel demonstrates that severely deformed ultra fine-grained (UFG) metals have potential to deliver improved load-bearing implant performance. It is as interesting as is unclear as to how such severely deformed UFG material behaves electrochemically in the corrosive body fluids. This work is on studying the inter-relationship between structure, and mechanical, wear, and corrosion behavior of warm multiaxially forged (MAFed) UFG 316L stainless steel. Warm MAF is a bulk processing method capable of yielding large volume of UFG material and is an easily readily adaptable technique in industry. It can be a promising alternative to the expensive metallic alloys available for implant applications.
Graphical abstractFigure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload high-quality image (205 K)Download as PowerPoint slide
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 30, 15 January 2016, Pages 408–419