Journal of biomedical materials research part b-applied biomaterials vol:66B issue:1 pages:331-340
The effect of chemical etching in a HF/HNO3 acid solution and aging in boiling water on the corrosion resistance of Nitinol wires with black oxide has been evaluated with the use of potentiodynamic, modified potentiostatic ASTM F746, and scratch tests. Scanning-electron microscopy, elemental XPS, and Auger analysis were employed to characterize surface alterations induced by surface treatment and corrosion testing. The effect of aging in boiling water on the temperatures of martensitic transformations and shape recovery was evaluated by means of measuring the wire electroresistance. After corrosion tests, as-received wires revealed uniformly cracked surfaces reminiscent of the stress-corrosion-cracking phenomenon. These wires exhibited negative breakdown potentials in potentiostatic tests and variable breakdown potentials in potentiodynamic tests (- 100 mV to + 400 mV versus SCE). Wires with treated surfaces did not reveal cracking or other traces of corrosion attacks in potentiodynamic tests up to + 900-1400-mV potentials and no pitting after stimulation at + 800 mV in potentiostatic tests. They exhibited corrosion behavior satisfactory for medical applications. Significant improvement of corrosion parameters was observed on the reverse scans in potentiodynamic tests after exposure of treated wires to potentials > 1000 mV. In scratch tests, the prepared surfaces repassivated only at low potentials, comparable to that of stainless steel. Tremendous improvement of the corrosion behavior of treated Nitinol wires is associated with the removal of defect surface material and the growth of stable TiO2 oxide. The role of precipitates in the corrosion resistance of Nitinol-scratch repassivation capacity in particular-is emphasized in the discussion. (C) 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.