Amorphous alpha-tricalcium phosphate: Preparation and aqueous setting reaction

U Gbureck, Jake Barralet, L Radu, HG Klinger, R Thull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanical and setting properties of calcium phosphate cements are considerably determined by the pretreatment of the constituents. In this report we show for the first time that prolonged high-energy ball milling of a-tricalcium phosphate (alpha-TCP) led to mechanically induced phase transformation from the crystalline to the amorphous state. The amorphous material demonstrated a high reactivity such that the time for substantially complete conversion of a-TCP to calcium-deficient hydroxyapatite in 2.5 % Na2HPO4 solution decreased from about 20 h (1 h of grinding in ethanol, 85% relative crystallinity) to 4-6 h for a material with a crystallinity of 8% (24 h of grinding). This reactivity could be attributed to an increased thermodynamic and kinetic solubility of the ground materials. Mechanically activated a-TCP cements were produced with compressive strengths of up to 80 MPa and setting times of 5-16 min. The effect of reactant preparation and cement mixing parameters on the physical and chemical properties of mechanically activated a-TCP cement was investigated. By comparing cements of similar porosity and degree of conversion it was demonstrated that apatite specific surface area has a strong influence on cement mechanical performance, which highlights the importance of this previously overlooked parameter in improving strength.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1126-1132
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004


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