Materials, Vol. 15, Pages 7164: Experimental Characterization and Numerical Modeling of the Corrosion Effect on the Mechanical Properties of the Biodegradable Magnesium Alloy WE43 for Orthopedic Applications

Materials doi: 10.3390/ma15207164

Felipe Saconi
Geraldine Hincapie Diaz
André Costa Vieira
Marcelo Leite Ribeiro

Computational modeling plays an important role in the design of orthopedic implants. In the case of biodegradable magnesium alloys, a modeling approach is required to predict the effects of degradation on the implant’s capacity to provide the desired stabilization of fractured bones. In the present work, a numerical corrosion model is implemented to predict the effects of biodegradation on the structural integrity of temporary trauma implants. A non-local average pitting corrosion model is calibrated based on experimental data collected from in vitro degradation experiments and mechanical testing of magnesium WE43 alloy specimens at different degradation stages. The localized corrosion (pitting) model was implemented by developing a user material subroutine (VUMAT) with the program Abaqus®/Explicit. In order to accurately capture both the linear mechanical reduction in specimen resistance, as well as the non-linear corrosion behavior of magnesium WE43 observed experimentally, the corrosion model was extended by employing a variable corrosion kinetic parameter, which is time-dependent. The corrosion model was applied to a validated case study involving the pull-out test of orthopedic screws and was able to capture the expected loss of screw pull-out force due to corrosion. The proposed numerical model proved to be an efficient tool in the evaluation of the structural integrity of biodegradable magnesium alloys and bone-implant assembly and can be used in future works in the design optimization and pre-validation of orthopedic implants.

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