Magnesium alloy foams have the potential to serve as structural material for regular light-weight applications as well as for biodegradable scaffold implants. However, their main disadvantage relates to the high reactivity of magnesium and consequently their natural tendency to corrode in regular service conditions and in physiological environments. The present study aims at evaluating the effect of porosity on the corrosion resistance of MRI 201S magnesium alloy foams in 0.9% NaCl solution and in phosphate buffer saline solution as a simulated physiological electrolyte. The magnesium foams were produced by powder metallurgy technology using space-holding particles to control the porosity content. Machined chips were used as raw material for the production of Mg alloy powder by milling process. The microstructure of the foams was examined using optical and scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis. The corrosion behavior was evaluated by immersion test and potentiodynamic polarization analysis. The results obtained clearly demonstrate that the porosity has a significant effect on the corrosion resistance of the tested foams. Foams with 14-19% porosity have a corrosion rate of 4-10 mcd and 7-15 mcd in NaCl and phosphate buffer saline solution, respectively, compared to only 0.10 mcd for the same alloy in as cast conditions. This increased corrosion degradation of the Mg foams by more than one order of magnitude compared to the cast alloy may limit their potential application in regular and physiological environments.
- Magnesium foam
- Powder metallurgy