Shape memory response of porous NiTi shape memory alloys fabricated by selective laser melting
Porous NiTi scaffolds display unique bone-like properties including low stiffness and superelastic behavior which makes them promising for biomedical applications. The present article focuses on the techniques to enhance superelasticity of porous NiTi structures. Selective Laser Melting (SLM) method was employed to fabricate the dense and porous (32–58%) NiTi parts. The fabricated samples were subsequently heat-treated (solution annealing + aging at 350 °C for 15 min) and their thermo-mechanical properties were determined as functions of temperature and stress. Additionally, the mechanical behaviors of the samples were simulated and compared to the experimental results. It is shown that SLM NiTi with up to 58% porosity can display shape memory effect with full recovery under 100 MPa nominal stress. Dense SLM NiTi could show almost perfect superelasticity with strain recovery of 5.65 after 6% deformation at body temperatures. The strain recoveries were 3.5, 3.6, and 2.7% for samples with porosity levels of 32%, 45%, and 58%, respectively. Furthermore, it was shown that Young’s modulus (i.e., stiffness) of NiTi parts can be tuned by adjusting the porosity levels to match the properties of the bones.
The authors wish to acknowledge partial support for this research from Third Frontier (State of Ohio) grant 15–791, titled “Additive Manufacture of Stiffness-Matched Skeletal Fixation Hardware”.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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