In addition to the well-known applications of tantalum, a new one is emerging: orthopaedic applications. As part of the European MSP-REFRAM project, a survey prepared by Ana Diez de la Rosa from ADE (Agency of Innovation, Business Financing and Internationalization of Castilla y León in Spain), analysed hip and knee arthroplasty in the UK and allowed to determine the incidence (% of the population concerned). Figures have been extrapolated to the EU population and the amount of metal has been geometricalIy assessed.
This is the first time that an estimation of tantalum needs in this medical field is assessed at the EU level. This market could become important in the future (18 tons Ta/year by 2050 in the EU for this single use) if the price remains affordable for the public and social insurance, compared to its substitute: titanium.