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Journal of magnesium
and alloys

Current Issue

In-depth analysis of the influence of bio-silica filler (Didymosphenia geminata frustules) on the properties of Mg matrix composites

Available online 12 October 2023

Full Length Article

Izabela B. Zgłobicka, Anna Dobkowska, Aleksandra Zielińska, Ewa Borucinska, Mirosław J. Kruszewski, Rafał Zybała, Tomasz Płociński, Joanna Idaszek, Jakub Jaroszewicz, Krystian Paradowski, Bogusława Adamczyk-Cieślak, Kostiantyn Nikiforow, Bartosz Buc


A novel metal matrix composites (MMC) with Mg matrix reinforced with natural filler in the form of Didymosphenia geminata frustules (algae with distinctive siliceous shells) are presented in this work. Pulse plasma sintering (PPS) was used to manufacture Mg-based composites with 1, 5 and 10 vol.% ceramic filler. As a reference, pure Mg was sintered. The results show that the addition of 1 vol.% Didymosphenia geminata frustules to the Mg matrix increases its corrosion resistance by supporting passivation reactions, and do not affect the morphology of L929 fibroblasts. Addition of 5 vol.% the filler does not cause cytotoxic effects, but it supports microgalvanic reactions leading to the greater corrosion rate. Higher content than 5 vol.% the filler causes significant microgalvanic corrosion, as well as increases cytotoxicity due to the greater micro-galvanic effect of the composites containing 10 and 15 vol.% diatoms. The results of contact angle measurements show the hydrophilic character of the investigated materials, with slightly increase in numerical values with addition of amount of ceramic reinforcement. The addition of Didymosphenia geminata frustules causes changes in a thermo-elastic properties such as mean apparent value of coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and thermal conductivity (λ). The addition of siliceous reinforcement resulted in a linear decrease of CTE and reduction in thermal conductivity over the entire temperature range. With the increasing addition of Didymosphenia geminata frustules, an increase in strength with a decrease in compressive strain is observed. In all composites an increase in microhardness was attained.

The results clearly indicate that filler in the form of Didymosphenia geminata frustules may significantly change the most important properties of pure Mg, indicating its wide potential in the application of Mg-based composites with a special focus on biomedical use.


Metal-matrix composites (MMCs); Pulse plasma sintering (PPS); Ceramic filler; Microstructure;Properties

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