Surface Modification of Titanium using Laser Beam
Pure titanium has an excellent biocompatiblity in comparison with stainless steels and Ti-Al-V alloys. We would expect pure titanium to have application for artificial joints and artificial bones if the wear resistance of the pure titanium were to be improved. So the surface modification of the pure titanium was performed using YAG laser beam. The laser power was 1.5 kW and Ar was used as the shielding gas. The shielding gas flow rate was changed from 5 to 40 L/min with a constant laser torch traveling speed of 500 mm/min. First, we investigated effects of the shielding gas flow rate on the Vickers hardness of the laser melted zone. When the shielding gas flow rate decrease, the average hardness increases and the oxygen and nitrogen concentrations of the laser melted zone also increase. We made clear the relationship between the average hardness and the nitrogen equivalent in the laser melted zone as follows. When the square root of the nitrogen equivalent (<i>N</i><SUB>eq</SUB> = <i>N</i> + O/2) was less than 0.1, a plot of the average hardness for the square root of the nitrogen equivalent reveals a linear relationship. However, the average hardness of the laser melted zone increased more than the value indicated by the linear relationship when the square root of the nitrogen equivalent was above 0.1. Next, metallurgical analyses of the laser melted zone were performed using an electron probe micro analyzer (EPMA), an X-ray diffraction method (XRD) and a transmission electron microscope (TEM), and effects of the behavior of oxygen and nitrogen on the hardness of the laser melted zone were studied. A uniform dislocation structures in the laser melted zone is observed over a wide area where there is the linear relationship between the hardness and the square root of the nitrogen equivalent. Lamellar structure, which alternated between two phases of αTi and TiN in the laser melted zone, was formed where the hardness is greater than those indicated by the linear relationship. One phase of TiN contained a large quantity of nitrogen, and the other phase of αTi contained little nitrogen. It is found that the lamellar structure composes of αTi and Ti-nitrides (TiN and TiN<SUB>0.26</SUB>). It is also observed that a wide area of αTi possesses a twin structure with a high dislocation density.
- Materials transactions
Materials transactions 45(5), 1613-1619, 2004-05-20