45S5 bioactive glass coatings by atmospheric plasma spraying obtained from feedstocks prepared by different routes
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45S5 bioactive glass powders with the composition of 45 SiO2, 6 P2O5, 24.5 CaO and 24.5 wt% Na2O were melted and quenched in water to obtain a frit. The frit was milled using two different routes: dry milling followed by sieving to obtain glass particles and wet milling followed by spray drying to obtain a powder comprising porous agglomerates. All feedstocks showed adequate characteristics that make them suitable to be deposited by atmospheric plasma spraying. The powders and coatings were characterised by field-emission gun environmental scanning electron microscope and X-ray diffraction. The roughness and the contact angle of the coatings were also determined. The bioactivity of the powders and coatings was assessed by immersion in simulated body fluid. It was found that bioactive glass prepared from bioglass frit by dry milling exhibited similar bioactivity as that of a commercial bioactive glass. All coatings produced showed good adhesion to the substrate as well as suitable surface properties to ensure efficient contact with body fluid. Regardless of the characteristics of the feedstocks or plasma spray conditions used, all coatings were exclusively made up of an amorphous phase. On the other hand, micrographs revealed that the characteristics of the feedstock strongly impact on the final coating microstructure. The most homogeneous microstructure was obtained when the feedstock was prepared by fine dry grinding of the frit. For this coating, the formation of a bioactive layer was also proved by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction.
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