Magnesium Ceramic

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Magnesium oxide (MgO) is the most commonly used crushable ceramic in the world. It is used for tile, bricks, plates, and glass. It is also found in watches (quartz tuning forks that keep time), snow skies, spark plugs in automobiles, and many other products. It is a very versatile material that can be shaped by casting, rolling, extruding, forging, and machining operations. In addition to being strong, dense, and lightweight, magnesium has a number of unique properties that make it an attractive material for the manufacture of high-performance products.

Recently, there has been an interest in developing completely bioresorbable magnesium ceramics. This is accomplished through the reaction of magnesium oxide with acidic phosphate solutions to form struvite and k-struvite ceramics. These hydrated magnesium phosphates have multiple characteristics directly applicable to human biology, including osteoinduction, osteointegration, and angiogenic effects.

In vitro cytocompatibility studies of MP based powder printed scaffolds were conducted with human fetal osteoblastic cells (hFOB 1.19). The results showed that cells adhered to all of the samples and at least 79% of the cells remained vital during the cultivation period of 17 days. FESEM imaging revealed that the cells attached to the calcined powders retained their ovoid morphology and formed pit structures on the culture surface.

Magnesia is well known for the pleasant vellum-like ‘fatty matte’ and ‘hares fur’ tactile and visual effects it produces in reduction firing around 1200C. It is also used as a strengthening additive in high-fired ceramics through the precipitation of forsterite crystals in the magnesia matrix. At lower temperatures it acts as a stabilizing additive by lowering glaze thermal expansion.