NiTi has been shown to be of great interest for bone implant applications. Introducing porosity to NiTi bone implants is an effective technique to tune their equivalent modulus of elasticity in order to acquire similar value to that of cortical bone. Moreover, such porous implants allow for better tissue ingrowth due to the interconnecting open pore structure. The effect of porosity percentage on the NiTi equivalent modulus of elasticity is well understood. However, the effect of porosity type on NiTi bone implant’s performance, in terms of the geometrical structure and other mechanical properties, has not yet been investigated. To this end, we simulated three porous structures made of shape memory Ti-rich Ni50.09Ti alloy. The effect of porosity type on the NiTi implant’s geometrical structure and mechanical properties was studied using numerical tests. The purpose is to compare three NiTi implants with different kinds of porosities, at a similar level of porosity (i.e., 69 %). The assigned porosity types in this study are Schwartz-type, Gyroid-type, and Diamond-type.
Three triply periodic minimal surface (TPMS) models (9mm×9mm×9mm) with the assigned fixed level of porosity (69 %) were designed as CAD files using Solidworks. Each model was meshed, and the convergence study was conducted. The three models were then imported into a finite element package (ABAQUS). A UMAT code developed by IUT (Isfahan University of Technology) group was used to simulate the mechanical behavior of the shape memory NiTi alloy. All boundary conditions and loading conditions were applied to the models. Compressive mechanical tests were simulated in the finite element, and the resultant equivalent modulus of elasticity, elongations, stress, and strain was estimated.
The results show anisotropic behavior within the three different porous structures. With the same level of porosity (i.e., 69 %), equivalent modulus of elasticity was observed to be 48.9, 34.8, and 30.2 GPa for Schwartz-type, Gyroid-type, and Diamond-type, respectively. Moreover, the Schwartz-type scaffold was seen to offer the highest stress at plateau start and the lowest residual strain after unloading, in comparison with the other two types of structure.