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Metal ion release from TiN coated CoCrMo orthopedic implant material
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In this study, a medical grade CoCrMo alloy was coated with TiN by means of physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique at 550 °C for 6 h. The TiN layer microstructure and thickness were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The adhesive strength of the TiN coatings on the CoCrMo substrate was studied by a commercially available Scanning Scratch Tester. Static immersion test was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of TiN coating in preventing the dissolution of metal ions into the simulated body fluid (SBF) from the substrate by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). The XRD results showed that the PVD coated TiN films exhibited (111) preferred orientation, while the SEM analysis indicated quite uniform and highly dense TiN coated layer (about 3 μm thick) with a columnar growth mode reaching from substrate to coating surface. The scratch test results showed that the adhesive strength between the TiN film and the CoCrMo substrate was adequate. The AAS and ICP-OES results showed that the presence of the TiN coating prevented the release of cobalt and chromium metal ions from the substrate CoCrMo alloy whereas cobalt was preferentially dissolved from the as-polished material. Calcium phosphate precipitation was observed on the surface of the as-polished material, indicating a degree of bioactivity of the as-polished surface which is absent in the TiN coated substrate alloy.