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.
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.
It is not surprising that trauma implants, along with other medical devices, are subject to the most stringent quality standards. Any material defect or malfunction can have catastrophic consequences for a patient.
For implants, the two key issues for manufacturers to deal with are selecting the right material and attaining the required surface finish. The finishing requirements can range from simple cleaning or deburring to surface smoothing and high-gloss polishing. Components exposed to a lot of tensile and bending stress even undergo a shot peening process to improve their fatigue life.
Some implants must have a textured or “rough” finish to promote osseointegration, which is the attachment of surrounding bone tissue to the implant. Other trauma implants require a very smooth surface to prevent the bone from attaching itself to the implanted material.
We’ve created anotherexclusive surface finishing guidebookto cover this complex topic, in which we will discuss the surface finishing needs of trauma implants and the impact finishes have on their functionality and performance. Examples of mass finishing and shot blasting applications will also be presented followed by detailed machine reports of actual applications used in the industry today.
If you are interested in sending us your parts forFREE process development, contact us here.
One of the most technically challenging aspects of mass finishing is the ability to effectively treat the internal channels of precision components. This is especially true in industries which face very stringent requirements, such as; automotive, aerospace, tooling and medical. It is essential for these manufacturers to achieve precise finishing results.
Fully automatic operation produces precise and consistent results
A new specialised line of rotary vibrators that do not have an inner dome, which allows for automatic, precise surface grinding, smoothing and high gloss polishing of such specialised components. New DL vibrators allow for fully automatic and reliable treatment of such inner contours, resulting in excellent finishing results, achieved in either wet or dry operational mode. Even with extremely delicate and complex contours the dimensional integrity of the work pieces is fully maintained. Depending on the components, their original surface readings and the selected finishing process, Rz values of as low as 0.1 µm can be achieved.
In this type of machine, one or multiple work pieces may be attached to specially designed fixtures. The complete unit with the attached work piece(s) is then firmly mounted into the DL vibratory finishing system. For certain applications the loading and unloading operation can take place with a pneumatic lifting device, this eliminates the need for entirely removing the media from the work bowl when unloading the fixture with mounted part(s).
The vibratory energy is provided by two high-performance vibratory motors, placed on the outer wall of the work bowl, which is transferred to the work pieces that are mounted to the bottom of the work bowl. The intense vibration causes the processing media to flow through and around contours, internal passages or undercuts in the work pieces, without getting stuck.
Compared to standard vibratory systems, this sophisticated machine design combined with powerful vibratory motors (3,000 RPM) produces a 30% increase in processing intensity, resulting in comparably short cycle times. Adjustment of the imbalance weights and control of the motor speed, with frequency inverters, provides the ability to adapt the processing intensity to match the work pieces and the desired finishing task.
Equipment suitable for a multitude of finishing tasks
DL rotary vibrators are the perfect solution for finishing complex work pieces, such as; housings, pump or fan wheels, blisks, dies and moulds, tools, automotive wheels and a variety of other work pieces. Ensure you have sample processing trials carried out on your components so that you receive a tailor-made finishing solution, with the highest finishing quality, short cycle times and high cost efficiency.
All DL vibratory finishing systems are equipped with an easy to use control panel, which includes process timers. For wet finishing operations, compound and water are fed into the machine with a precise dosing system.
In the area of medical technology surface finish of work pieces is an important factor. Component surfaces must be ground, smoothed and polished without risking their required shape and functionality. The reasons for these requirements are hygiene and sterilization.
Any time two metal parts come into contact with each other the resulting friction causes heat build up. These high temperatures cause wear and over time reduce efficiency and eventually create the need for replacement. By creating a smooth and shiny finish the process improves the life and efficiency of moving metal parts. Increased life translates into lower operating costs as well as better performance.
People associate shot peeningwith automotive and aerospace components. However, did you know it’s used in the medical implant and component industry. Bone screws, dental implants, and hip and knee replacement components are just a few of the medical implants that are shot peened.