Research ArticleHEALTH AND MEDICINE

High hardness in the biocompatible intermetallic compound β-Ti3Au

Science Advances  20 Jul 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 7, e1600319
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600319

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Abstract

The search for new hard materials is often challenging, but strongly motivated by the vast application potential such materials hold. Ti3Au exhibits high hardness values (about four times those of pure Ti and most steel alloys), reduced coefficient of friction and wear rates, and biocompatibility, all of which are optimal traits for orthopedic, dental, and prosthetic applications. In addition, the ability of this compound to adhere to ceramic parts can reduce both the weight and the cost of medical components. The fourfold increase in the hardness of Ti3Au compared to other Ti–Au alloys and compounds can be attributed to the elevated valence electron density, the reduced bond length, and the pseudogap formation. Understanding the origin of hardness in this intermetallic compound provides an avenue toward designing superior biocompatible, hard materials.

Keywords
  • Biocompatible alloys
  • hardness
  • metals
  • titanium alloys
  • gold alloys
  • titanium gold alloys
  • coefficient of friction
  • elevated electron density
  • pseudogap
  • medical applications

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