Characterization and corrosion behavior of hydroxyapatite coatings on Ti6Al4V fabricated by electrophoretic deposition

C. T. Kwok, P. K. Wong, F. T. Cheng, Hau Chung Man

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219 Citations (Scopus)


In order to increase the bone bioactivity of the metallic implants, hydroxyapatite (HA) is often coated on their surface so that a real bond with the surrounding bone tissue can be formed. Plasma spraying of HA coatings is currently the only commercial process in use but long-term stability of plasma sprayed coatings could be a problem because of their high degree of porosities, poor bond strength, presence of a small amount of amorphous phase with non-stoichiometric composition, and non-uniformity. In the present study, cathodic electrophoretic deposition (EPD) has been attempted for depositing HA coatings on Ti6Al4V followed by vacuum sintering at 800 °C. Submicron HA powders with different morphologies including spherical, needle-shaped and flake-shaped were used in the EDP process to produce dense coatings. Moreover, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were also used to reinforce the HA coating for enhancing its hardness. The surface morphology, compositions and microstructure of the HA coated Ti6Al4V were investigated by electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray diffractometry, respectively. Electrochemical corrosion behavior of the HA coatings in Hanks' solution at 37 °C was investigated by means of open-circuit potential measurement and cyclic potentiodynamic polarization tests. Surface hardness, adhesion strength and bone bioactivity of the coatings were also studied. All HA coated specimens had a thickness of about 10 μm and free of cracks, with corrosion resistance higher than that of the substrate and adhesion strength higher than that of plasma sprayed coating. The enhanced properties could be attributed to the use of submicron-sized HA particles in the low-temperature EDP process. Among the three types of HA powder, spherical powder yielded the densest coating whereas the flake-shaped powder yielded the most porous coatings. Compared with monolithic HA coating, the CNT-reinforced HA coating markedly increased the coating hardness without compromising the corrosion resistance or adhesion strength.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6736-6744
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number13-14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2009


  • Adhesion
  • Corrosion
  • Electrophoretic deposition
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Implants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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