Characterization of Ti-C-N coatings deposited on Ti6Al4V for biomedical applications


Ti6Al4V alloy is the most commonly employed implant material for orthopedic replacements due to its good mechanical properties close to those of bones, biocompatibility and its good corrosion resistance in biological media. Nevertheless, it does not exhibit good wear resistance, showing friction and wear even with soft tissues. This latter feature can lead to a premature failure of the implant with the subsequent component replacement. Therefore, a system with good tribological resistance is required for several medical applications. One possible alternative to solve tribological problems consists of protecting the alloy surface by means of biocompatible Ti-C-N coatings. In this work, five types of metallic Ti-C-N coatings deposited by physical vapor deposition (PVD) cathodic arc method on Ti6Al4V substrate have been studied. Different deposition conditions have been analyzed, and the superficial properties of films have been characterized. Additionally, tribological response of these films have been determined and compared with the substrate one under fretting conditions in simulated body fluid. The results indicate that Ti-C-N coatings improve the general response of the biomaterial.

J. Inorg. Biochem. 117, 359–366 (2012)