Sintering of Porous Materials by Electric Discharge
Development and Demonstration of Technology and Equipment for Sintering by Electric Discharge of Porous Materials of Refractory Metals for Medical Applications
Tech Area / Field
- MAN-MPS/Manufacturing, Planning, Processing and Control/Manufacturing Technology
- MAN-MAT/Engineering Materials/Manufacturing Technology
3 Approved without Funding
Belarussian State Research and Production Powder Metallurgy Concern / Powder Metallurgy Research Institute with Pilot Plant, Belarus, Minsk
- Friedrich-Alexander-University / Zentralinstitut fuer Biomedizinische Technik, Germany, Erlangen\nKatholieke Universiteit Leuven / Faculteit Toegepaste Wetenschappen, Belgium, Leuven\nZentrum Plastische Chirurgie, Germany, Stuttgart
Project summaryTask of the project.
Development and demonstration of technology of sintering by electric discharge of refractory metals powders in medicine and establishing of an experimental unit for production parts for medical application on the base of the latter.
Definition of the task.
Implantation of artificial parts for substitution, reconstruction or restoration of tissues and organs is one of the areas for medical application of porous materials of refractory metals powders. For example, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) data nearly 98.8% of patients who apply for restoration of aesthetics and functions of dental system are more than 35 years old. Most cases like that are because of diseases causing partial or complete loss of a tooth row and can be solved by using different prostheses with implants. Constant electric heart stimulation enables to treat heart beat diseases which according to WHO data is on the fourth place among other illnesses.
Analysis of medical and scientific literature on implantation (including maxillofacial) and electric heart stimulation shows that the most widely distributed are those methods of human vital functioning which are based on scientists’ developments connected with creation of new materials for medical application.
Necessity of application of porous materials of refractory metals powders (titanium first of all) in implantation is determined by the fact that these materials have high biological compatibility to a live tissue, having much higher specific square of surface comparing to monolithic ones. This enables to reduce seizure reaction of an organism, and thus diameter of a traumatic capsule, consisting of binding tissue, surrounding an implant is smaller. Clinical investigations show that such implants have more stable physical and chemical properties [1, 2].
Modern technologies of production porous materials of refractory metals, basing on high-temperature sintering with binders or low-temperature one, have low productivity and need expensive equipment, and chemical purity of the produced parts is not always satisfactory for their application in medicine.
In this respect carrying out of complex investigations for development of technology and equipment for sintering by electric discharge (SED)  of porous materials of refractory metals powders having a predictable complex of operational properties for medicine is important and up-to-dated.
Influence of the proposed project on progress in its area.
We propose a development with no analogs in the area of production of porous materials of refractory metals powders for medical application based on SED method. The proposed technology consumes less energy, is labour saving, more productive and ecology friendly comparing to the analog ones used in the world now. Equipment for realization of this technology does not require much financial and energy expenses and can be automatically controlled. With the help of the proposed technology we plan to produce porous materials with high specific surface, predicted physical-mechanical properties combined with optimal bio-mechanical properties and can be used for manufacturing medical parts.
Participants of the project.
Theoretical and experimental investigations of sintering powders with a direct current impulse conduct have been carried out in «Electric-Physical Processes» Research Laboratory of Powder Metallurgy Research Institute with Pilot Plant of Belorussian State Scientific and Productional Powder Metallurgy Concern under the guidance of Dr. K.E. Belyavin. The main areas of scientific work of the laboratory staff were investigations in the field of development special materials, units and technological processes for military industry of the former USSR. Scientists of the research lab have carried out a comparative analysis of the known methods of sintering refractory metals powders, developed scientific and technological bases for production of porous materials by SED method, produced laboratory equipment. Results of projects carried out by participants of scientific investigations were published in 96 scientific papers, including two monographs; their novelty was proved with 35 certificates and patents.
Due to long-term medical, biological, toxicological, hygienic and clinical investigations of porous materials of refractory metals powders which are to be carried out, there are main medical experts - cardiologists, oncologists, and maxillofacial surgeons – of the Republic of Belarus among participants.
A high scientific potential of the staff enables to solve complicated scientific and technical problems within the sphere of development of SED technology for porous materials from refractory metals powders.
The project under proposal is from the development and demonstration of technology group. After carrying out five objects we will:
– Get a theoretical prognosis of porous materials of refractory metals powders operational properties, carry out mathematical calculations of bio-mechanical systems behavior in conditions of outer loadings, make a program for computer simulation and construction of medical parts with the given complex of operational properties useful for designing and medical practice.
– Define and optimize SED technological regimes, develop production technology of porous materials of refractory metals powders, develop method of estimation their structural and physical-mechanical properties.
– Develop technological documentation and define technical conditions of experimental samples production of porous materials of refractory metals powders for medical application, complete their certified technical and clinical investigations.
– Develop designer’s documentation for an experimental SED unit and technological equipment for production of experimental samples of porous materials of refractory metals powders for medical application.
– Produce, test and prepare for demonstration an experimental SED unit for porous materials of refractory metals powders for medical application, send patent applications and publish scientific papers.
Application of the projects results.
Scientific results of the project will enable to develop and improve new bio-mechanical constructions. The developed technology will be the basis of commercial production of new types of materials and parts on their base for surgical implantology, cardiology, oncology, micro-biological investigations. Application of SED technology will enable to reduce significantly cost, increase quality and service life of medical parts which will heighten its commercial attractiveness for potential investors.
Correspondence of the project works to ISTC tasks.
The project under proposal will enable to:
– provide participants of the project, connected with weapons production, with a possibility to direct their powers to investigations of an absolutely non-military sphere – development of production technology of parts for medical application;
– carry out integration of the project participants into international scientific community by participation in international conferences and symposiums, open publications of scientific data;
– promote solving national and international scientific problems in health protection area;
– promote the project participants going over to market economy meeting civil needs by commercial use of investigations results to provide descent salary of scientific and technical personnel, participating in the project.
Data about the works.
The estimated term of the project is 36 months. We plan to solve five tasks:
Task 1. Theoretical basis of porous materials operational properties produced by SED method from refractory metals and mathematical simulation of medical parts on their base.
Task 2. Definition of SED technological regimes for porous materials of refractory metals powders, development of methods of their structural physical-mathematical properties.
Task 3. Development of SED technological process and technical conditions of production of porous materials of refractory metals powders for medical application.
Task 4. Development of designer’s documents of a SED experimental unit for porous materials of refractory metals powders for medical application.
Task 5. Production of an experimental unit for demonstration of SED technology for porous materials of refractory metals powders for medical application.
Role of foreign collaborators.
In accordance with the volume of works within the frameworks of the project there were established the following forms of participation of foreign collaborators:
– information exchange during the project;
– joint consultations;
– cross checks of results received during the project;
– participation in demonstration of equipment and technology.
Technical approach and methodology.
There has been made a base enabling not to doubt possibility of completion of the project under proposal. There have been carried out evaluating theoretical and laboratory investigations of the process of production by SED method of porous materials of refractory metals powders. To carry out experiments there was used a lab unit with the help of which we produced a few experimental samples of porous materials for implantation. The first results of medical investigations of these samples on animals gave positive results and showed great interest of doctors-scientists.
Task 1. On the basis of capillarity, heat conduction, electric conduction there will be theoretically solved problems of production new porous materials of refractory metals powders, prognostication of the operational properties applying to parts used in medicine. The achieved results will enable to asses energy-power parameters of SED process depending on initial powders properties. Basing on mathematical calculations of bio-mechanical systems behavior in conditions of outer loading with the following computer simulation there will be achieved engineer’s recommendations for development and perfection of new constructions of medical parts.
Task 2. With the help of the SED unit available there will be experimentally defined and optimized technological regimes of production by SED method of porous materials of refractory metals powders, developed methods of assessing their structural and physical-mechanical properties. After metallographic and technical investigations there will be defined porosity, pores sizes, strength and other operational properties of the produced porous materials. On the basis of methods, recommended by Ministry of Health Protection of the Republic of Belarus and according to «Main Principles of Treatment Laboratory Animals and Their Use in ISTC Projects», there will be carried out medical-biological tests of porous implants samples of refractory metals powders on laboratory animals and defined a possibility of application of these materials for people implants.
Task 3. There will be developed technological documentation and technical conditions of production of experimental porous materials samples of refractory metals powders for medical application. In accordance with requirements of Ministry of Health Protection of the Republic of Belarus there will be carried out certification technical and clinical tests of experimental samples which make it possible to use them further in medicine.
Task 4. There will be developed designer’s documentation of experimental SED unit for porous materials of refractory metals powders for medical application. It will be possible to modernize the unit for production of different parts.
Task 5. There will be produced an experimental unit and carried out demonstration of SED technology for porous materials of refractory metals powders for medical application.
Authenticity of the achieved results will be discussed with foreign colleagues.
1. Bolz A., Frahlich R., Schaladach M. Die Fraktale Elektrode. Aktueller Entwicklungsstand und Perspektiven. Herzscher Elektrophus. 1996; 7; 184-197.
2. Martin R.B., Paul H.A., et al... Effects of Estrogen Deficiency on the Growth of Tissue into Porous Titanium Implants, The J. Of Bone and joint Surgery, vol.70-A, #4, April 1988, 540-547.
3. Al-Hassani S.T.S. Electric-Discharge Powders Compaction. Progressive Technological Processes in Powder Metallurgy. Minsk, Vysheishaya Shkola, 1982, 83-91.
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