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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/L505158/1
Title: Novel 3D coating of bioactive glass and metallic composites
Principal Investigator: Rainforth, Professor WM
Other Investigators:
Haycock, Professor JW Todd, Professor I
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Materials Science and Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 23 December 2013 Ends: 22 December 2015 Value (£): 145,478
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufacturing Machine & Plant
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The orthopaedic implant market is consistently projected to show strong growth, particularly in the joint reconstruction

sector. At a time where healthcare budgets are under severe pressure, there is a need for novel hip implants that deliver a

better quality of clinical outcome, but at the same or reduced cost. Implants are coated to aid implant bone-integration, and

the composition and structure of these coating is critical to the speed and strength of implant-bone integration and hence

the clinical outcome. The current coating is a combination of titanium (for strength) and bioactive glass (to facilitate bone

ingrowth), materials which have very different thermal properties and therefore must be laid down in two-stages if using a

conventional coating process. The ability to apply these materials by a novel 3D printing process, potentially in one-step,

will transform design and manufacture of orthopaedic implants. It will provide much greater design freedom to create new

functionally optimised material combinations and structures not achievable by a conventional process. This project

integrates the capabilities of SMEs operating end-to-end from design to product supply and the expertise of the University

of Sheffield in end-to-end simulation. Using a range of simulation methodologies developed by UoS in a series of

previously funded programmes (e.g. IMMPETUS EPSRC grants, EP/E063497 and EP/F023464), the Mercury Centre will

apply these to design and simulate the end-to-end manufacturing of the novel 3D coating of bioactive glass and metallic

composites. We will use phase field modelling to simulate the melting, fluid dynamics, solidification and phase

transformations during AM to optimise the process conditions for this application. We will use our unique combined finite

element/discrete element modelling to simulate the heat transfer, residual stresses and interaction between the metal and

bioglass. Multi-scale modelling will be used to link microstructure and properties throughout the manufacturing process.

This will extended to include the behaviour of the novel composite in vivo. It will deliver from design to supply a novel

additive manufacturing (AM) process to apply novel interpenetrating 3D glass and metallic composite coatings onto 3D

surfaces initially for orthopaedic (hip) implants. The coatings will enable design and manufacture of smaller (minimally

invasive) implants with 'large implant' performance having better mechanical stability and faster integration with bone thus

improving long-term clinical performance and a reduced revision rate. This delivers a significantly better clinical outcome

for patients and savings for the health service. The envisaged AM process has the potential to be faster and lower cost

than current two-stage deposition and to enable the manufacture (possibly in near-patient areas) of implants matched to

the patient using pre-operative bone scans. Transferability to other sectors will be demonstrated by the manufacture of a

solar diffuser material.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk