For the first time, a highly porous strong Ti6Al4V was produced by using a polymeric sponge replication method. A polymeric sponge, impregnated with a Ti6Al4V slurry prepared from Ti6Al4V powders and binders, was subjected to drying and pyrolyzing to remove the polymeric sponge and binders. After sintering at a high temperature and under high vacuum, a porous Ti6Al4V was produced. Optical microscopical observation, environmental scanning electron microscopy observation (with energy-dispersive micro X-ray analysis), mechanical tests, and metallurgical analyses were performed on the obtained porous Ti6Al4V with regard to the porous structure (both macropores and micropores), mechanical properties, chemical composition, phase compositions, and cell attachment behavior. The porous Ti6Al4V made by this method had a three-dimensional trabecular porous structure with interconnected pores mainly ranging from 400 to 700 m and a total porosity of about 90%. The compressive strength was 10.3 ± 3.3 MPa and the elastic constant 0.8 ± 0.3 GPa. MC3T3-E1 cells attached and spread well in the inner surface of pores. Being similar to cancellous bone with regard to both interconnected porous structure and mechanical properties, the resulting porous Ti6Al4V is expected to be a promising biomaterial for biomedical applications.
- Cell attachment
- Mechanical properties