Post-corrosion mechanical properties of absorbable open cell iron foams with hollow struts

May 06, 2021

R. Alavi (1), Abdolhamid Akbarzadeh (2,3), Hendra Hermawan (1,4)
Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, 117, May 2021. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2021.104413


Absorbable metals; Bone scaffolds; Corrosion; Finite element analysis; Mechanical behavior; Micro-computed tomography; Open cell iron foam


In-depth analyses of post-corrosion mechanical properties and architecture of open cell iron foams with hollow struts as absorbable bone scaffolds were carried out. Variations in the architectural features of the foams after 14 days of immersion in a Hanks’ solution were investigated using micro-computed tomography and scanning electron microscope images. Finite element Kelvin foam model was developed, and the numerical modeling and experimental results were compared against each other. It was observed that the iron foam samples were mostly corroded in the periphery regions. Except for quasi-elastic gradient, other mechanical properties (i.e. compressive strength, yield strength and energy absorbability) decreased monotonically with immersion time. Presence of adherent corrosion products enhanced the load-bearing capacity of the open cell iron foams at small strains. The finite element prediction for the quasi-elastic response of the 14-day corroded foam was in an agreement with the experimental results. This study highlights the importance of considering corrosion mechanism when designing absorbable scaffolds; this is indispensable to offer desirable mechanical properties in porous materials during degradation in a biological environment.

How Our Software Was Used

For the single-strut analysis of iron foams samples, Dragonfly was used to estimate the architectural parameters of the single struts that were virtually cut from the reconstructed models. Dragonfly was also used for the 3D reconstruction of micro-CT data.

Author Affiliation

(1) Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering and CHU de Quebec Research Center, Laval University, Quebec City, QC, G1V 0A6, Canada.
(2) AM3L Laboratory, Department of Bioresource Engineering, McGill University, Island of Montreal, QC, H9X 3V9, Canada.
(3) Department of Mechanical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC, H3A 0C3, Canada.
(4)Medical Devices and Technology Centre (MEDiTEC), Institute Human Centred Engineering (iHumE,n), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, 81310, Malaysia.