Titanium has several uses nowadays, one of the most important being in the medical industry. Various uses also exist within the realm of this industry: the use of titanium and its alloys in medical implants is one of the most well known. Titanium is an attractive option due to it being readily available, extremely strong and most importantly non corrosive even in the presence of body fluids…
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It can exist in 3 separate forms in nature and numerous alloys have been formed with other metals which only serve to increase its uses. One area where titanium has been found to be of utmost importance is in the medical industry. Medical implants with titanium or titanium alloys incorporated in them have been developed and made use of in the past few decades. This paper will examine the use of titanium in medical implants and its properties that contribute to this success, in particular its property of being non corrosive. 2. General properties of titanium Titanium is a transition metal which is found in the earth’s crust (Balazic et al, 2007). It is the fourth most abundant metal on earth and is found all over the world in volcanic and alluvial deposits. While ores such as rutile and ilmeinite are plentiful, titanium reacts with nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen and is not easy to extract from its ore (Brunette et al, 2001). Extraction involves very expensive methods and a mere 5% of pure titanium is extracted from an ore usually (Brunette et al, 2001). The density of titanium is about half of that of steel though it is as strong as steel (Balazic et al, 2007). ...
Metals commonly used to make stable the alpha form include aluminum, tin and oxygen. The beta form can be stabilized using metals like chromium, iron or vanadium. Using mixtures of both of these stabilizers leads to the production of alpha+beta titanium alloys (Brunette et al, 2001). 3. Uses of titanium Titanium has uses in many different fields including aerospace, power generation, automotive, chemical and petrochemical, sporting goods, dental and medical applications (Rack and Qaz, 2006; Sibum, 2003; Wang, 1996 from Balazic et al, 2007). The commercial aspects of titanium were only exploited in the 1940s (Balazic et al, 2007). Starting in the 1960s, titanium was used as a material in medical implants (Balazic et al, 2007). Now, over a 1000 tonnes or 2.2 million pounds of titanium are used in implants all over the world every year (The Titanium Information Group, 2003). Titanium alloys have also been used in the medical industry and there are three main types of alloys which have been developed: alpha titanium alloys, beta titanium alloys and alpha+beta titanium alloys (Balazic et al, 2007). Of these, it is primarily beta alloys that are used in medical applications (Brunette et al, 2001) Some of the most common alloys that have been used include Titanium-Aluminum-Vanadium and Nickel-Titanium (Nitinol) (Balazic et al, 2007). Some of the main uses in implants are for bone or joint replacements, dental implants, maxillofacial and craniofacial uses, cardiovascular devices and external prostheses (The Titanium Information Group, 2003). It has also been used in medical fasteners and fixation devices (Brunette et al, 2001). 4. Desirable
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