Tantalum Plate

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tantalum plate is a dark gray-blue, hard, ductile transition metal with high corrosion resistance. It is a rare element that occurs in nature as the mineral tantalite.

The use of porous tantalum metal plates in the treatment of tibial fractures has been demonstrated to be effective in restoring bone growth and improving the mechanical properties of the bone. The advantages of this material include its ability to promote bony callus formation and a modulus of elasticity in between the values of cancellous and cortical bone. This results in stress shielding that decreases bone fracture and improves the mechanical strength of the implant.

A new technique is presented for fabricating a plate of porous tantalum that can be used in the treatment of cranial defects. Eight cases are reported in which this plate was used to repair old or new cranial defects and satisfactory results were obtained. The plate can be fabricated with ordinary available material found in the dental laboratory.

This report consists of detailed characterizations of tri-lab tantalum (Ta) plate jointly purchased from HCStark Inc. by Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories through a leveraged effort funded by the C2 campaign. The characterization data include microstructure characterization detailing crystallographic texture and grain size, as well as material strength evaluations using compression cylinder, sub-scale tension specimen and instrumented indentation testing. These results are compared with previously characterized wrought Ta materials.

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