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In this investigation, an electron beam melting-processed γ-TiAl alloy (Ti–48Al–2Cr–2Nb, at.%) was oxidized in air to improve its in vitro tribological, electrochemical, and biocompatibility properties. The γ-TiAl alloy samples were oxidized at 400, 600, and 800 °C for 1 and 4 h. The oxidized layer thickness, composition, and surface morphology found to change with oxidation temperature. The oxidation thickness varied between 1.29 ± 0.2 and 2.18 ± 0.2 μm. The primary oxides on the surface were Al2O3 and TiO2 with minor concentrations of Cr2O3, Nb2O5, and nitrides of Ti. The surface hardness of the alloy increased by 1.7-fold with increasing temperature from 400 to 800 °C with 1 h soaking, and at 4 h, the maximum hardness was 12.26 GPa. The high hardness of the oxidized γ-TiAl alloy resulted in two orders of magnitude lower wear rate than the bare γ-TiAl alloy. Oxidation at 800 °C for 4 h resulted in significant reduction in corrosion current and no passivity breakdown was observed. In vitro cell culture experiments, using mouse preosteoblast cells, revealed high cell density on the oxidized γ-TiAl alloy, suggesting its enhanced cell proliferation compared to the bare γ-TiAl alloy and CP-Ti.
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