The term combustion synthesis, or self-propagating high temperature synthesis (SHS), refers to an exothermic chemical reaction process that utilizes the heat generated by the exothermic reaction to ignite and sustain a propagating combustion wave through the reactants to produce the desired product(s). The products of combustion synthesis normally are extremely porous: typically 50 percent of theoretical density
Advantages of combustion synthesis over traditional processing routes, e.g., sintering, in the production of advanced materials such as ceramics, intermetallic compounds and composites include process economics, simplicity of operation, and low energy requirements. However, the high exothermicity and rapid combustion propagation rates necessitate a high degree of control of these reactions.
One research area being conducted in the Institute for Space Resources (ISR) at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) is the application of combustion synthesis (SHS) to synthesize advanced, engineered porous multiphase/heterogeneous calcium phosphate (HCaP), NiTi, NiTi-TiC, TiB-Ti, TiC-Ti for bone tissue engineering and drug delivery systems. Such material systems require a complex combination of properties that can be truly classified as multi-functional materials. The range of properties includes: an overall porosity of 40-60% with a pore size of 200-500 μm; mechanical properties (compression strength and Young’s modulus) that match those of natural bone to avoid ‘stress shielding’; and a surface chemistry that is capable of facilitating bone growth and mineralization.
The paper will discuss the synthesis of porous multiphase/heterogeneous calcium phosphate (HCaP), NiTi, NiTi-TiC, TiB-Ti, TiC-Ti for bone tissue engineering and drug delivery systems.