Predominant factor determining wear properties of β-type and (α+β)-type titanium alloys in metal-to-metal contact for biomedical applications

Yoon Seok Lee, Mitsuo Niinomi, Masaaki Nakai, Kengo Narita, Ken Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


The predominant factor determining the wear properties of a new titanium alloy, Ti-29Nb-13Ta-4.6Zr (TNTZ) and a conventional titanium alloy, Ti-6Al-4V extra-low interstitial (Ti64) was investigated for TNTZ and Ti64 combinations in metal-to-metal contacting bio-implant applications. The worn surfaces, wear debris, and subsurface damages were analyzed using a scanning electron microscopy combined with energy-dispersive spectroscopy and electron-back scattered diffraction analysis. The volume loss of TNTZ is found to be larger than that of Ti64, regardless of the mating material. The wear track of TNTZ exhibits the galled regions and severe plastic deformation with large flake-like debris, indicative of delamination wear, which strongly suggests the occurrence of adhesive wear. Whereas, the wear track of Ti64 have a large number of regular grooves and microcuttings with cutting chip-like wear debris and microfragmentation of fine oxide debris, indicative of abrasive wear combined with oxidative wear. This difference in the wear type is caused by severe and mild subsurface deformations of TNTZ and Ti64, respectively. The lower resistance to plastic shearing for TNTZ compared to that of Ti64 induces delamination, resulting in a higher wear rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-220
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Abrasive
  • Adhesive
  • Delamination
  • Oxidative
  • Ti-29Nb-13Ta-4.6Zr
  • Ti-6Al-4V

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials

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