Beta-type Ti-alloy is a promising biomedical implant material as it has a low Young’s modulus and is also known to have inferior surface hardness. Various surface treatments can be applied to enhance the surface hardness. Physical vapor deposition and chemical vapor deposition are two examples of this but these techniques have limitations such as poor interfacial adhesion and high distortion. Laser surface treatment is a relatively new surface modification method to enhance the surface hardness but its application is still not accepted by the industry. The major problem of this process involves surface melting which results in higher surface roughness after the laser surface treatment. This paper will report the results achieved by a 100 W continuous wave (CW) fiber laser for laser surface treatment without the surface being melted. Laser processing parameters were carefully selected so that the surface could be treated without surface melting and thus the surface finish of the component could be maintained. The surface and microstructural characteristics of the treated samples were examined using x-ray diffractometry, optical microscopy, three-dimensional surface profile and contact angle measurements, and nanoindentation test.
- laser surface treatment, beta titanium, surface hardening