Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

BIOTIP — Result In Brief

Project ID: 17991
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Greece

Powders of power

A project's improvement of titanium powders and their use to create all kinds of devices promises an affordable approach to creating biomedical equipment. The technology may also be of use in the automotive and aerospace industries.
Powders of power
As medical technology progresses, advanced biomedical implant devices for different functions are saving lives and improving the quality of life for thousands of people every year.

The EU-funded project 'Injection moulding of titanium powders for biomedical applications' (Biotip) has developed Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) technology for advanced titanium processing, necessary to perfect implant devices. Biotip aimed to overcome many obstacles that were documented in previous research on MIM, such as purity of titanium powders and reaction of titanium with binders.

The new MIM technology involved titanium powder that was atomised with plasma to create perfectly spherical elements needed to manufacture inexpensive high-grade devices. The technology is capable of creating very complex shapes with delicate sections on the micro level.

The project team was able to improve injection conditions to manufacture parts without defects, and within an improved timeframe of only 30 seconds. It employed specific powders (Pyrogenesis and Erothitan IFAM) that boasted excellent properties for flow and homogeneity of the final substance.

The team overcame almost all challenges, including solvent debinding issues and oxygen entry during thermal debinding, furthering the technology significantly. While minor obstacles remain, the ideal injection moulding device is within reach and could satisfy the complex geometry needed in many applications, such as dental implants.

Overall, the research undertaken in this project has the potential to positively affect the health of Europeans, making this technology much more affordable. Titanium MIM could also be used in the automotive and aerospace markets to replace other metal parts and lower their weight, thus decreasing fuel consumption. More research is needed, but the results of Biotip are already very promising.

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