Congratulations to Emily Tom! She successfully defended her M.S. Thesis entitled Exploring Rapid Solidification and Equal Channel Angular Pressing in the Fabrication of Mg-based Alloys for Medical Applications.
The development of magnesium bioresorbable implants has become increasingly popular due to the increased need for temporary implants and magnesium’s excellent biocompatibility and suitable elastic modulus. Even though magnesium is an excellent candidate, when alloyed with other metals magnesium’s corrosion rate becomes too rapid for bioresorbable medical applications. The investigation into novel processing techniques to control the formation of precipitates to improve mechanical strength and ductility as well as corrosion rates has become of interest. Emily investigated the combination of two nonequilibrium processing techniques, rapid solidification (RS) and equal channel angular pressing (ECAP), and the effects it has on the strength, ductility, and corrosion properties of two Mg-Zn-Ca-Mn alloys: Mg-1.2Zn-0.8Ca-0.2Mn and Mg-1.8Zn-0.8Ca-0.2Mn. In the course of this study, she found that the formulated alloys possessed flaws from processing responsible for a premature mechanical failure of samples. As the result, alloys’ ductility improvements from processing could not be explored. Additionally, ECAP processing caused the dynamic precipitation of nano-size Ca2Mg6Zn3 precipitates which contributed to an increase in strength from the RS consolidated state after ECAP was performed. Corrosion testing also determined that ECAP caused an increase in corrosion rate of formulated alloys.