Mechanical behavior of in-situ alloyed Ti6Al4V(ELI)-3 at.% Cu lattice structures manufactured by laser powder bed fusion and designed for implant applications

A.M. Vilardell, A. Takezawa, A. du Plessis, N. Takata, P. Krakhmalev, M. Kobashi, Mihaela Albu, Gerald Kothleitner, I. Yadroitsava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present study, cellular lattice structures for implant applications are reported for the first-time incorporating copper directly by in-situ alloying in the laser powder bed fusion process. The aim to incorporate 3 at.% Cu into Ti6Al4V(ELI) is selected for improved antibacterial properties while maintaining appropriate mechanical properties. Previously, topologically optimized Ti6Al4V(ELI) lattice structures were successfully designed, manufactured and studied for implant applications. The development of a new alloy produced by in-situ alloying of elemental powder mixture of Ti6Al4V(ELI) and pure Cu powders was used here for the production of identical lattice structures with improved antibacterial properties. One of the same as-designed CAD models was used for the manufacturing of these lattices compared to previous work on pure Ti6Al4V(ELI) lattices, making direct comparison of mechanical properties possible. Similar manufacturability highlights the applicability of this alloying technique to other lattice designs. Microstructural characterization was performed by optical and electron microscopies, as well as microCT. Mechanical characterization was performed by means of compression tests and hardness measurements. Results showed that in-situ alloying with copper leads to the formation of localized Cu-rich regions, refinement of martensitic phase and the formation of CuTi2 intermetallic precipitates, which increased the hardness and strength of the material. Deviations in wall thickness between the as-designed and as-manufactured lattices led to anisotropy of the mechanical properties of the lattices. Higher compressive strength values were obtained when thicker walls were oriented along the loading direction. Nevertheless, alloying with Cu had a higher impact on the compressive strength of lattice structure than the wall thickness deviations. The direct in-situ alloying of copper in Ti6Al4V(ELI) is a promising route for direct manufacturing of antibacterial implants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104130
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Cellular lattice structures
  • In-situ alloying
  • Laser powder bed fusion
  • Mechanical properties
  • Ti6Al4V(ELI)-Cu

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanical behavior of in-situ alloyed Ti6Al4V(ELI)-3 at.% Cu lattice structures manufactured by laser powder bed fusion and designed for implant applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this