Study on improved tribological properties by alloying copper to CP-Ti and Ti-6Al-4V alloy.Mater Sci Eng C Mater Biol Appl 2015; 57:123-32MS
Copper alloying to titanium and its alloys is believed to show an antibacterial performance. However, the tribological properties of Cu alloyed titanium alloys were seldom studied. Ti-5Cu and Ti-6Al-4V-5Cu alloys were fabricated in the present study in order to further study the friction and wear properties of titanium alloys with Cu additive. The microstructure, composition and hardness were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and hardness tester. The tribological behaviors were tested with ZrO2 counterface in 25% bovine serum using a ball-on-disc tribo-tester. The results revealed that precipitations of Ti2Cu intermetallic compounds appeared in both Ti-5Cu and Ti-6Al-4V-5Cu alloys. The tribological results showed an improvement in friction and wear resistance for both Ti-5Cu and Ti-6Al-4V-5Cu alloys due to the precipitation of Ti2Cu. The results also indicated that both CP-Ti and Ti-5Cu behaved better wear resistance than Ti-6Al-4V and Ti-6Al-4V-5Cu due to different wear mechanisms when articulated with hard zirconia. Both CP-Ti and Ti-5Cu revealed dominant adhesive wear with secondary abrasive wear mechanism while both Ti-6Al-4V and Ti-6Al-4V-5Cu showed severe abrasive wear and cracks with secondary adhesive wear mechanism due to different surface hardness integrated by their microstructures and material types.