A valuable alternative to the existing biomedical implant coatings is a bioactive glass (BAG) coating that is produced by reactive plasma spraying. A mechanical performance requirement that is of the utmost importance is the adhesion strength of the coating. Considering the application as dental implant, a new adhesion test (shear test), which was close to the service conditions, was designed. A Ti6Al4V rod (3 mm) with a sprayed BAG coating of 50 microm was glued with an epoxy glue to a hollow cylindrical counterpart and was used as such in the tensile machine. This test was evaluated by finite element analysis (FEA). Preliminary experiments showed that a conversion from shear to tensile adhesion strength is possible by using the Von Mises criterion (sigma = 3(1/2)tau), indicating that thin coatings of brittle materials can behave as a ductile material. The new coating technique was proved to produce a high quality coating with an adhesion strength of 40.1 +/- 4.8 MPa in shear and 69.4 +/- 8.4 MPa in tension. The FEA revealed that no one homogeneously distributed shear stress is present but several nonhomogeneously distributed stress components (shear and tensile) are present in the coating. This analysis indicated that real service conditions are much more complicated than standard adhesion tests.
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