Additive manufacture (AM) is emerging as a viable manufacturing method for creating bespoke implants. However, the majority of additive manufactured implants on the market are still made of Ti-6Al-4V; an alloy which has not been designed for implant use and possesses drawbacks of containing toxic elements and possessing a modulus much higher than bone. One promising alternative is β-titanium alloys, which can offer low elastic modulus (~ 40 MPa) and high cycle fatigue strength (~ 800 MPa).
In this work, the fabrication of multiple compositions of TiTa alloys using selective laser melting (SLM) is reported. Tantalum is selected as not only a favourable β stabiliser, but also due to its promising biocompatibility and promotion of osseointegration for use in orthopaedic applications. The optimisation of processing parameters to produce fully dense samples with a minimised volume of unmelted Ta particles is discussed. The morphology of the resulting microstructures was analysed with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and phase identification supported with x-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. The mechanical response was observed via tensile testing, hardness measurements and ultra-sonic modulus measurement. The relationship between composition, microstructure and mechanical response of the TiTa alloy system will be presented.