Titanium medical implants are now very commonplace and no longer exclusive to those from rich countries who can afford the latest implements. In fact, you may know some people who have had hip replacements, bone replacements, or even dental implants that contain titanium.
As you may know, titanium is currently the metal of choice for prosthetics, inner body devices, and instruments due to its ability to perform well inside the human body with minimal complaints, as opposed to outdated materials that could cause severe reactions.
If this is your line of interest or you yourself are considering employing the use of titanium for medical purposes, you might be delighted to know that there has been a breakthrough in the medical sciences regarding the use of titanium alloys.
Scientists over at Rice University have discovered that a 3-to-1 mixture of titanium and gold is up to three to four times harder than steel, thus making it a better and more durable material for replacing body parts and for use in medical implements. Their study, published in Science Advances, called this new alloy Titanium-3, and is shown to be four times tougher than the bio-compatible titanium that’s widely used today.
The 3:1 ratio titanium and gold alloy is called Titanium-3.
The researchers previously didn’t know that a harder version of the alloy could be produced by using higher temperatures. Apparently, high temperatures can create an almost purely crystalline form of the previous version of the alloy.
The Titanium-3 Molecule.
According to the study, the alloy’s hardness is due “to the elevated valence electron density, the reduced bond length, and the pseudogap formation. Understand the origin of hardness in this intermetallic compound provides an avenue toward designing superior biocompatible hard materials.”
The researchers have yet to announce when this will be widely available in medical facilities around the world and at what cost.
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