Titanium carbide which has the chemical formula of TiC attracted great interest for many structural applications due to its extremely high melting temperature, high hardness, high chemical resistance and good electrical conductivity. Therefore titanium carbide can be used in cutting tools, grinding wheels, wear-resistant coatings, high temperature heat exchangers, magnetic recording heads, turbine engine seals, and bullet-proof vests, etc. In addition, a promising field of application comprises plasma and flame spraying processes in air, where titanium carbide-based powders show high-phase stability.
TiC(Titanium Carbide Powder) (325 mesh, 99,9+%) can also be used in biomedical implant devices. Materials used for biomedical implant devices must satisfy a variety of property demands, which are often mutually exclusive. Further, different parts of a device demand different material properties. These factors often make it difficult to manufacture a medical device using a single material.
Many implant devices, such as knee replacements, involve a relative motion between constituent parts while in service. In such situations, polyethylene-on-metal bearing surfaces are currently being widely used but studies show that microscopic particles of polyethylene can possibly be toxic.
This has led to a growing interest in metal-on-metal bearing surfaces for implants, especially in applications involving a large contact area. The metal-on-metal approach, however, requires the bearing surfaces to be extremely hard and wear resistant. Fabrication of an entire implant device from materials hard enough to satisfy these requirements is not plausible, as such hard materials would be too brittle to use. A more plausible approach would be to use a suitable hard surface coating on the bearing surfaces of the implant. This approach allows one to manufacture an implant device from well-established biocompatible materials with desired bulk characteristics, while the surface property requirements are met by using a biocompatible hard surface coating.
While the surface coating approach is certainly advantageous, it presents a number of challenges related to coating materials and coating methods. Some of the issues related to coating materials are: i) the coating material should be biocompatible, ii) the coating should not be brittle or prone to spalling, iii) the coating should be adequately hard and wear resistant, and iv) the coating material should be metallurgically compatible with the substrate material.
While most of the candidate coating materials, such as carbides, borides and nitrides, easily meet the hardness and wear resistance requirements, all of them are inherently brittle and are often not metallurgically compatible with metallic implant substrate materials. But titanium carbide is a good choice for this application. For example by using the method of Laser Engineered Net Shaping, titanium carbide can be used in biomedical applications.