In situ synthesized TiB-TiN reinforced Ti6Al4V alloy composite coatings: Microstructure, tribological and in-vitro biocompatibility

Mitun Das, Kaushik Bhattacharya, Stanley A. Dittrick, Chitra Mandal, Vamsi Krishna Balla, T. S. Sampath Kumar*, Amit Bandyopadhyay, Indranil Manna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wear resistant TiB-TiN reinforced Ti6Al4V alloy composite coatings were deposited on Ti substrate using laser based additive manufacturing technology. Ti6Al4V alloy powder premixed with 5. wt% and 15. wt% of boron nitride (BN) powder was used to synthesize TiB-TiN reinforcements in situ during laser deposition. Influences of laser power, scanning speed and concentration of BN on the microstructure, mechanical, in vitro tribological and biological properties of the coatings were investigated. Microstructural analysis of the composite coatings showed that the high temperature generated due to laser interaction with Ti6Al4V alloy and BN results in situ formation of TiB and TiN phases. With increasing BN concentration, from 5. wt% to 15. wt%, the Young's modulus of the composite coatings, measured by nanoindentation, increased from 170±5. GPa to 204±14. GPa. In vitro tribological tests showed significant increase in the wear resistance with increasing BN concentration. Under identical test conditions TiB-TiN composite coatings with 15. wt% BN exhibited an order of magnitude less wear rate than CoCrMo alloy-a common material for articulating surfaces of orthopedic implants. Average top surface hardness of the composite coatings increased from 543±21. HV to 877±75. HV with increase in the BN concentration. In vitro biocompatibility and flow cytometry study showed that these composite coatings were non-toxic, exhibit similar cell-materials interactions and biocompatibility as that of commercially pure titanium (CP-Ti) samples. In summary, excellent in vitro wear resistance, high stiffness and suitable biocompatibility make these composite coatings as a potential material for load-bearing articulating surfaces towards orthopaedic implants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-271
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Laser processing
  • Load-bearing implants
  • Titanium boride
  • Titanium nitride
  • Wear


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