A numerical investigation of porous titanium as orthopedic implant material

H. Shen, L. C. Brinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Porous titanium is being developed as an alternative orthopedic implant material to alleviate the inherent problems of bulk metallic implants by reducing the stiffness to be comparable to bone stiffness and allowing complete bone ingrowth. However, a porous microstructure is susceptible to local permanent plastic strain and residual stress under cyclic loading which reduces damage tolerance and therefore limits their application as orthopedic implants. The mechanical properties of porous titanium are governed by the microstructural configurations such as pore morphology, porosity, and bone ingrowth. To understand the influence of these features on performance, the macroscopic and microscopic responses of porous Ti are studied using three-dimensional finite element models. The models are generated based on simulated microstructures of experimental materials at porosities of 15%, 32% and 50%. The results show the effect of porosity and bone ingrowth on Young's modulus, yield stress, and microscopic stress and strain distribution. Importantly, simulations predict that the bone ingrowth reduces the stress and strain localization under cyclic loading so significantly that it counteracts the concentration condition caused by the increased porosity of the structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)420-430
Number of pages11
JournalMechanics of Materials
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Bone ingrowth
  • Finite element
  • Microstructure
  • Porosity
  • Porous titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Mechanics of Materials


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