•Surface chemistry and microstructure of titanium and CoCrMo alloys, for retrieved and new implant materials, were investigated.•Microstructure is a neglected factor in implant design, although it is very important in the role of prematurely failed implants.•SEM- EDS and EBSD results show two types of carbides present in the CoCrMo alloys: M23C6 and M7C3.•Thin oxide films protect the Ti alloys from pitting, intergranular and crevice corrosion and are responsible for the excellent biocompatibility.•The thin oxide film protects properly heat-treated CoCrMo alloys from intergranular and crevice corrosion, and improves the biocompatibility.
Applied Surface Science – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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