Additively Manufactured Open-Cell Porous Biomaterials Made from Six Different Space-Filling Unit Cells: The Mechanical and Morphological Properties


Seyed Mohammad Ahmadi, Saber Amin Yavari, Ruebn Wauthle, Behdad Pouran, Jan Schrooten, Harrie Weinans 1,3 and Amir A. Zadpoor


It is known that the mechanical properties of bone-mimicking porous biomaterials are a function of the morphological properties of the porous structure, including the configuration and size of the repeating unit cell from which they are made. However, the literature on this topic is limited, primarily because of the challenge in fabricating porous biomaterials with arbitrarily complex morphological designs. In the present work, we studied the relationship between relative density (RD) of porous Ti6Al4V EFI alloy and five compressive properties of the material, namely elastic gradient or modulus (Es20–70), first maximum stress, plateau stress, yield stress, and energy absorption. Porous structures with different RD and six different unit cell configurations (cubic (C), diamond (D), truncated cube (TC), truncated cuboctahedron (TCO), rhombic dodecahedron (RD), and rhombicuboctahedron (RCO)) were fabricated using selective laser melting. Each of the compressive properties increased with increase in RD, the relationship being of a power law type. Clear trends were seen in the influence of unit cell configuration and porosity on each of the compressive properties. For example, in terms of Es20–70, the structures may be divided into two groups: those that are stiff (comprising those made using C, TC, TCO, and RCO unit cell) and those that are compliant (comprising those made using D and RD unit cell).

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