Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Vol.95, No.12, 3776-3780, 2012
Structural Characterization and Mechanical Evaluation of Bioactive Glass 45S5 Foams Obtained by a Powder Technology Approach
Bioactive glass 45S5 foams were produced using a powder technology process developed by The National Research Council CanadaIndustrial Materials Institute. NRCIMI's proprietary process, combining powder technology and polymer foam technique, allows the production of materials having different structures and properties. It can be used to produce components into various forms, such as fully porous bodies or coatings on solid structures. During foaming, the foaming agent is decomposed and expands the binder-bioactive glass suspension. Then, the binder is burnt out by heating the sample at 500 degrees C and finally the bioactive glass particle network is sintered to consolidate the material. Foams sintered at various temperatures were characterized from a microstructural and mechanical point of view. The foam structure and properties are affected by the sintering temperature when it is varied between 950 degrees C and 1025 degrees C. Foams exhibited open porosity (64%79%) and pore size (335-530 mu m) optimal for bone ingrowth. In all cases, the glass crystallized during sintering and the material was mostly composed of Na6Ca3Si6O18 and Na2Ca4(PO4)2SiO4 phases. The mechanical strength increased from 1.7 to 5.5 MPa while the density of the material increased from 0.56 to 0.97 g/cm3.