Strain-rate-dependent plasticity of Ta-Cu nanocomposites for therapeutic implants

A Kardani and A Montazeri and HM Urbassek, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 13, 15788 (2023).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-43126-6

Recently, Ta/Cu nanocomposites have been widely used in therapeutic medical devices due to their excellent bioactivity and biocompatibility, antimicrobial property, and outstanding corrosion and wear resistance. Since mechanical yielding and any other deformation in the patient's body during treatment are unacceptable in medicine, the characterization of the mechanical behavior of these nanomaterials is of great importance. We focus on the microstructural evolution of Ta/Cu nanocomposite samples under uniaxial tensile loading conditions at different strain rates using a series of molecular dynamics simulations and compare to the reference case of pure Ta. The results show that the increase in dislocation density at lower strain rates leads to the significant weakening of the mechanical properties. The strain rate- dependent plastic deformation mechanism of the samples can be divided into three main categories: phase transitions at the extreme strain rates, dislocation slip/twinning at lower strain rates for coarse- grained samples, and grain-boundary based activities for the finer- grained samples. Finally, we demonstrate that the load transfer from the Ta matrix to the Cu nanoparticles via the interfacial region can significantly affect the plastic deformation of the matrix in all nanocomposite samples. These results will prove useful for the design of therapeutic implants based on Ta/Cu nanocomposites.

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