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Vitallium is a trademark for an alloy of 65% cobalt, 30% chromium, 5% molybdenum, and other substances. The alloy is used in dentistry and artificial joints, because of its resistance to corrosion. It is also used for components of turbochargers because of its thermal resistance. Vitallium was developed by Albert W. Merrick for the Austenal Laboratories in 1932.

In 2016 Norman Sharp, a 91 year old British man, was recognised as having the world's oldest hip replacement implants. The two vitallium implants were implanted in November 1948 at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, under the newly formed NHS. The 67 year old implants had such an unusually long life, partly because they had not required the typical replacement of such implants, but also because of Mr Sharp's young age of 23 when they were implanted, owing to a childhood case of septic arthritis.[1]


  • Wojnar, L (2001). "Porosity structure and mechanical properties of vitalium-type alloy for implants". Materials Characterization 46 (2–3): 221–225. doi:10.1016/S1044-5803(01)00127-9. 
  • Kaminski, M; Baszkiewicz, J; Kozubowski, J; Bednarska, A; Barcz, A; Gawlik, G; Jagielski, J (1997). "Effect of silicon ion implantation on the properties of a cast Co–Cr–Mo alloy". Journal of Materials Science 32 (14): 3727–3732. doi:10.1023/A:1018607219482. 

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