Mechanism of chromium oxide formation in cobalt-chromium-molybdenum (F75) alloys prepared using spark plasma sintering

Bhairav Patel, Fawad Inam, Michael Reece, Mohan Edirisinghe, William Bonfield, Jie Huang, Arash Angadji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Metallic implants are known to have higher wear rates compared to ceramic. This causes more wear debris to be produced and results in the release of toxic metal ions to the surrounding areas. The strengthening mechanism in cobalt based cast orthopedic alloys depends upon carbides present in the microstructure, but these cause problems when dislodged between articulating surfaces, accelerating wear by abrasion and fretting. Thus, in order to improve the performance of these implants a novel method of processing the alloys, namely by spark plasma sintering (SPS) of fine powders, has been used as it generates hard oxides and not carbides in the microstructure. The oxide in the SPS processed alloy is identified as chromium oxide formed by a redox reaction between cobalt oxide found on the surface of cobalt particles and chromium. The oxygen associated with the cobalt powder is displaced and combines with the chromium during SPS. This oxide in the microstructure of the alloy can be more beneficial than carbides due to its higher hardness, resulting in lower wear rates and less wear particles. With the oxide in the microstructure, the hardness of the alloy becomes closer to that of ceramics. Also its lower density enables the alloy to be lighter. The chemical stability of the oxide ensures that it remains intact and due its insolubility in water, no carcinogenic or toxic reactions will occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-417
JournalAdvanced Engineering Materials
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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