With worldwide sales at nearly $10 billion annually, there is a high demand for spinal implants. These implants are subject to very specific and strict surface finishing requirements to ensure longevity and fixation to bone.
Mass finishing and shot blasting play key roles 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.
Mass finishing is a universal finishing technology that can be used for a multitude of surface treatment operations for spinal implants as well as instruments used for spinal surgery.
Mass finishing is equally suitable for surface smoothing and, high gloss polishing down to Ra = 0.8 micro inches.
For very critical instruments, mass finishing is a preparatory step for electro-polishing.
Typical mass finishing machines for treating spinal implants include:
- Small rotary and tub vibrators – These machines provide great results for interbody fusion cages, artificial disks, cervical plates, and spinal rods.
- Small centrifugal disk finishers – Offering high-energy systems 10 times more intensive with vibratory finishers, these machines are great for pedicle screws, spinal hooks, cervical plates, and artificial disks.
- Compact drag finishers – Perfect for finishing delicate surgical instruments and workpieces, these machines feature very high processing intensity, larger work piece capabilities, no part-on-part impingement, and extremely smooth polished finishes.
Shot blasting is an exceptionally versatile surface treatment technology that is used for deburring/de-flashing, surface cleaning (de-scaling, rust removal, and stripping of coatings), surface preparation for coating, for cosmetic purposes, and even surface improvement.
In connection with spinal implants, shot blasting is primarily used for surface cleaning, surface preparation for coatings, preliminary smoothing of additive manufactured components, and shot peening.
Shot blasting is also used for cosmetic purposes such as placing a very fine, matte anti-glare finish on certain surgical instruments.
Typical shot blasting machines for treating spinal implants include air and wet blast cabinets. Customized with rotary baskets, turntables, and rotary satellite stations, these machines offer blast cleaning and deburring for screws, cervical plates, interbody fusion cages, and more.
The Rosler Way
Regardless of your spinal implant processing needs, Rosler Metal Finishing can develop and deliver a better way to achieve precise finishing results. Contact us today to discuss your unique challenges.
The complete Spinal Implants Series includes:
- Part 1 – Surgical Specifications.
- Part 2 – Processed to Perfection.
- Part 3 – Mass Finishing Versus Shot Blasting Methods.
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