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Ceram is offering a full suite of testing for Yttria-Stabilised Zirconia (YSZ) destined for surgical implants, as defined in ISO 13356 standards.

These standards specify the characteristics of, and corresponding test methods for, YSZ.

They were updated in 2008 to provide clinicians with greater confidence in the resilience of these materials for surgical implants, including restorative and prosthetic dentistry and hip- and knee-joint replacements.

The need for longer-lasting YSZ ceramic implants is growing as a result of the ageing population, combined with the trend towards younger hip-implant patients, who tend to opt for ceramic-on-ceramic implants over other materials.

The goal is lifetimes of 30 years or more.

It is important that sufficient research is done to demonstrate that these implants meet durability needs for longer-term use.

Dr Phil Jackson, business development manager, medical and healthcare at Ceram, said: ‘Research into maximising micro-structure homogeneity in sintered ceramic implants is important as there is no long-term data on the performance of ceramic hip and other implants over time.

‘As revisionary surgery can add a further 70 to 100 per cent to the cost of the original operation, there is a need to produce implants that have certified durability.

‘The use of nanotechnology and novel shaping techniques will ultimately deliver the defect-free micro-structures needed to further retard hydrothermal ageing of YSZ.

‘This will enhance the lifetime and reliability of implants – important factors when implants need to last longer to match increasing human longevity.’ Ceram is currently carrying out independent and collaborative research that addresses the potential barriers to successfully using nano-YSZ powders in the various stages of ceramic processing, focusing on: granulation of suspensions with very high solids content to minimise defects arising from pressing irregular-shaped granulates; investigations on the impact of microwave-assisted firing on the nano-structure of ceramic implants in the sintering process, to attempt to minimise loss of the desired micro-structure; and determining the optimum level of yttria needed to stabilise the desired tetragonal phase of YSZ ceramic implants.

CERAM is a global expert in materials testing, analysis and consultancy,providing customised solutions that can help you to measurably improveperformance and profitability through safer, regulatory-compliant andbetter-engineered products.

Setting new standards in materials testing, our experts work as extensionsof our clients’ teams, applying their expertise and capabilities to a widerange of sectors, including:

aerospace & defence

automotive & transport

construction

consumer & retail

electronics

energy & environment

healthcare

materials manufacturing

minerals

refractories

Headquartered in Staffordshire, UK, with laboratories and offices around theworld, CERAM employs a team of research and product developmentprofessionals who are involved in physical and chemical materials testing,research, process engineering, product design and failure analysis.

We are a UKAS accredited testing laboratory (No. 0013) in the UK and haveCERAM-accredited laboratories around the world.

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