The medical industry is constantly looking for better, more suitable materials that will offer greater performance and longevity for medical devices, implants, and instruments while simultaneously searching for more efficient manufacturing technologies.
When it comes to surface finishing, such newly developed materials and
manufacturing processes can pose considerable technical challenges. That’s why
close cooperation between the medical device manufacturers and qualified
surface treatment experts is essential during the development and prototyping
In our last medical instrument blog, Rosler Metal Finishing discussed the surface finishing requirements for medical instruments. This blog will dive deeper into the techniques used in surface finishing and answer the question: What is the best type of surface finishing for medical instruments?
The short answer is a combination of mass finishing and shot blasting. Guidance
for a surface finishing expert can help determine the best process – typically
a series of processes – for a specific medical instrument.
Technological advances in medical equipment and implants have driven
worldwide spinal implant sales to $10 billion annually.
Like orthopedic implants used for joint reconstruction and the surgical
fixation of a bone fracture, spinal implants are subject to very specific and
strict surface finishing requirements.
Mass finishing and shot blasting play a key role in creating the right
finish for spinal implants, not only for intermediate surface treatment after
forging, casting, machining, additive manufacturing, etc., but also for placing
the final surface finish before implantation.
Rosler Metal Finishing has extensive experience in surface finishing spinal implants using mass finishing, shot blasting, and a combination of both methods.
In a series of posts, we’ll analyze the specific surface finishing
requirements for spinal implants based on their functional and performance
characteristics and describe the respective mass finishing and shot blasting
equipment and methods available to fulfill these requirements.
Rosler Metal Finishing understands that medical instruments are subject to stringent quality standards. Whether during an office visit or a complicated surgery, material defects or malfunctions may create dangerous and even fatal consequences for patients and healthcare workers alike. Providing precise and durable surface finishes for work pieces used in the medical industry is one of our passions.
In a series of blog posts, we’ll
discuss the various technologies used for finishing the surface of medical
instruments and how mass finishing and shot blasting play a key role, not only
as intermediate steps but also for placing the final, finishing touch on these work
We begin with a basic question: What are the surface finishing requirements associated with medical instruments?
Medical instruments are exposed to frequent use and subject to highly corrosive atmospheres caused by frequent sterilization in a steam pressure chamber, exposure to chlorine wipes, and ultrasonic cleaning. They must never fail. To minimize wear and prevent corrosion most medical instruments, especially surgical tools, are made from tough, slow wearing, corrosion-resistant, high-performance metal alloys including austenitic stainless steel, titanium, or cobalt chrome.
In our last trauma implant blog,Rosler Metal Finishing discussed the materials used in trauma implants. From hip replacements to cranial plates, there are numerous uses for trauma implants; each with its own unique surface finishing needs and requirements.
Trauma implant manufacturers must achieve
the necessary surface finish to ensure patient safety and best results. These finishing
requirements can range from simple cleaning or deburring to surface smoothing
and high-gloss polishing.
This blog will answer the question: What techniques are used to finish off trauma implants?
What types of finishes are used?
Trauma implants are subject to multiple finishing operations throughout the manufacturing process. After manufacturing steps including forging, blanking, machining, and thread cutting for screws, the workpieces usually undergo a surface cleaning (descaling, de-oiling), deburring, edge radiusing, or surface grinding operation, before they receive their final finish.
shot blasting, structural steel components often require some cleaning. The
degree of cleaning depends on the work piece’s condition prior to processing as
well as machine set-up.
This installment of our Structural Steel FAQ series will answer How are residual blast media and dust removed from shot blasted steel components?
Why Remove Residue
Ancillary machine attachments and processes may be
required to remove blast media and dust resting on structural steel components
to ensure surfaces are properly prepared for painting and coating.
The need for a clean and well-prepared surface after shot blasting mirrors that of the pieces surfacing in the first place as discussed in Part 1 of this series.
Practically all plate and profile roller conveyor
shot blast machines are equipped with a media brush-off system at the machine
exit. By adding a rotary brush at the end of the process, residue is removed as
the work piece exits the machine.
Rosler Metal Finishing understands that trauma implants and medical devices are subject to stringent quality standards. Any material defect or malfunction can have catastrophic consequences for a patient. That’s why we take our work in the trauma implant field very seriously.
Also known as osteosynthetic
implants, trauma implants include pins, screws, and plates used to surgically
fix a bone defect. Implant manufacturers must select the right material and attain
the required surface finish to ensure patient safety and best results.
In a series of blog posts, we’ll
answer the most common questions about trauma implant materials and finishes.
We begin with a basic question: What
materials are used in trauma implants?
The answer, in short, is usually stainless steel or titanium.
Does the material performance affect the selection?
In order to select the best material, trauma implant manufacturers must understand the specific performance attributes of the implant they are creating. Implants are subject to very strict performance and reliability standards. Selected materials must act as bone stabilizers and healing support while meeting the following guidelines.
Shot blasting machines are widely used for surface preparation and finishing structural steel components for a variety of industries. In addition to specifically designing machines able to accommodate large, heavy, and bulky structural steel workpieces, Rosler Metal Finishing also expertly designs the turbines within these machines for precise results.
turbines accelerate and throw the blast media against the workpieces. They are
for shot blast machines what the engines are for cars and trucks. Both
determine the performance of the respective machine or vehicle including the
speed of a sports car and the torque of a heavy-duty truck.
Like vehicle engines, the specifications of different turbines directly influence the performance of a shot blasting operation. This installment of our Structural Steel FAQ series will answer How do different blast turbines affect the quality of shot blasting results?
patterns are the size and shape of the area where blast media strikes a
workpiece as it progresses through the machine. The area of impact is also
referred to as a “hot spot.” Long blast patterns are required to accommodate the
large size of structural workpieces.
Concentrated blast patterns are often used in shot peening, but would not offer enough finishing coverage for structural steel applications. Similarly, the normal blast patterns used for casting and forgings are also not effective for structural steel.
Rosler Metal Finishing expertly designs shot blasting machines for these industriesand others to descale, clean, and prepare structural steel for surfaces for end-use. The particulars of each machine largely depend on the size and shape of the specific components in need of preparation.
This installment of our Structural Steel FAQ series will answer What are the most commonly used blast machines for structural steel surface preparation and how do they compare?
Machine Types by Workpiece
Whether surface preparation is needed for steel beams and plates, round bars, pipes and weldments, ship building, pipeline construction, or heavy equipment and machinery, there are machines tailored to produce consistent surface finishing results for each component.
The most common machine types by component include:
Roller Conveyor Machines for Plates and Beams
Round Bar and Pipe Machines
Roller Conveyor Machines for Large, Extra Heavy Components
Spinner Hanger and Monorail Hanger Machines for Large Components
As we established in Part 1 of this series, identifying and maintaining an optimal media mix is essential to realizing optimal mass finishing results. Rosler Metal Finishing understands that our equipment must work in tandem with media to provide you with the desired finishing results.
Understanding how your machine, the work pieces it is finishing, and the selected media will interact is key to delivering an optimal finish each cycle. Doing so requires understanding media consumption factors in order to maintain an optimal media mix.
What are the Factors of Media Consumption?
Media consumption and wear rates depend on ten key parameters. These rates change if even one of the parameters below change. Therefore, quoted wear rates and cut rates are relative values only.
Media usage can only be estimated, the actual consumption can only be determined by the end user under exact process conditions.
The surface profile created by shot blasting depends entirely on the blast media and the way it is handled. The right media selection and equipment operating parameters are critical for the surface quality of structural steel components being prepared for paint coating. While mineral abrasives play a role for certain air blast applications, the lion’s share of industrial surface preparation is done in highly mechanized turbine blast machines utilizing steel media.
Rosler Metal Finishinghas decades of experience in the turbine blasting field. Through the years, we’ve used and evaluated all kinds of media and resulting roughness or lack thereof. This installment of our Structural Steel FAQ series will answer:
What influence does metallic blast media have on the surface profile
of structural steel?