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The effects of solid state synthesis process parameters and primary calcium precursor on the cement-type hydration efficiency (at 37°C) of α-tricalcium phosphate (Ca(3)(PO(4))(2) or α-TCP) into hydroxyapatite (Ca(10-x)HPO(4)(PO(4))(6-x)(OH)(2-x) x = 0-1, or HAp) have been investigated. α-TCP was synthesized by firing of stoichiometric amount of calcium carbonate (CaCO(3)) and monetite (CaHPO(4)) at 1150-1350°C for 2 h. Three commercial grade CaCO(3) powders of different purity were used as the starting material and the resultant α-TCP products for all synthesis routes were compared in terms of the material properties and the reactivity. The reactant CaHPO(4) was also custom synthesized from the respective CaCO(3) source. A low firing temperature in the range of 1150-1350°C promoted formation of β-polymorph as a second phase in the resultant TCP. Meanwhile, higher firing temperatures resulted in phase pure α-TCP with poor hydraulic reactivity. The extension of firing operation also led to a decrease in the reactivity. It was found that identical synthesis history, morphology, particle size and crystallinity match between the α-TCPs produced from different CaCO(3) sources do not essentially culminate in products exhibiting similar hydraulic reactivity. The changes in reactivity are arising from differences in the trace amount of impurities found in the CaCO(3) precursors. In this regard, a correlation between the observed hydraulic reactivities and the impurity content of the CaCO(3) powders-as determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry-has been established. A high level of magnesium impurity in the CaCO(3) almost completely hampers the hydration of α-TCP. This impurity also favors formation of β- instead of α-polymorph in the product of TCP upon firing.
Graduate Department of Biomedical Engineering, Middle East Technical University, 06531, Ankara, Turkey.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine
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