Temperature behaviour of ceramic biocomposites investigated via hot-stage microscopy
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Justyna Pawlik   

Engineering of Biomaterials 2019;(150):22-28
In this study, sol-gel bioactive glasses and β-TCP composites were investigated regarding their thermal behaviour, microstructure, and phase composition. Sol-gel bioactive glasses based on the CaO-SiO2-P2O5 system of either a high SiO2 content (S2) or a high CaO content (A2) were mixed with the β-TCP at 25:75, 50:50 and 75:25 weight ratios. Basing on the HSM results, i.e. shrinkage curves, densification intervals and characteristic temperatures, the sintering temperatures of composites were indicated. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction were used to determine the microstructure and phase composition of composites after sintering at selected temperatures, i.e. 1100°C and 1200°C. The SEM/EDX investigations proved the well-sintered and densified microstructure of the sintered composites. The chemistry of sol-gel bioactive glasses influenced both the thermal behaviour and the phase composition of the composites. The dominant phases for A2-β-TCP materials were α-TCP, pseudowollastonite and β-TCP, while for S2-β-TCP – cristobalite, β-TCP, and α-TCP. However, the content of each phase varied, depending on the A2 or S2 content in the composite composition. Hot-stage microscopy provides useful information for selecting optimal sintering temperature in order to obtain well-sintered and strengthened material. Moreover, by a carefully selected combination of sol-gel bioactive glasses and β-TCP it is possible to obtain the materials with favorable phase composition with regard to biological activity.
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