ME 4133/6133 Mechanical Metallurgy



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Stainless steels can be separated into four families based on the microstructure of the material: Austenitic, Ferritic, Martensitic, and Duplex. Each family provides a specific set of advantages and disadvantages, and material selection should be based on the specific application the material will be used for. For this study, the processing, microstructure, and performance of the four families of stainless steels will be compared in the context of medical device applications. The most important factors in medical device materials are biocompatibility, surface properties, mechanical properties and life span/corrosion resistance. This study will focus on medical devices that will be permanently implanted inside the human body.

Each of these properties is dictated by the microstructure, which can be controlled by element composition and processing methods. For each family of SS, different processing methods will be compared. Heat treatment, cold finishing, solidification, homogenization, and quench rate will be studied and how different mechanical properties are affected. Once a clear overview of processing has been established, it will then be apparent how each processing method affects microstructure. The microstructure of each will be defined by: grain structure, atomic structure, crystalline structure and the chromium oxide surface layer. Perhaps the most practical component of the study, microstructure will allow us to predict mechanical properties that ultimately govern performance. The scope of the study being limited to implanted medical devices will ultimately influence which material is best. Wear resistance, cost, resistance to fatigue failure, etc. are all important factors. Based on potential performance of each alloy, 316L was chosen as the focus. 316L will be examined using the PSPP method and its potential use in the medical field will be discussed. To demonstrate the effect that different properties will have on the performance of a product, four sample parts made of each of different alloys will be compared using digital FEA via Creo parametric. This will reveal stress profiles and the difference in reaction between the families.


Stainless Steel, Medical, Biomedical, FEA, 316L Stainless Steel, Metallurgy, Mechanical Metallurgy, PSPP


Biological Engineering | Biomaterials | Biomechanical Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering

A Survey of Stainless Steel in Medical and Surgical Application