CNC materials for the Medical Device industry

The Medical Device industry has a wide range of products and applications, yet there is a lot of overlap in material requirements between the different applications. Read in this article which commonly used types of material have low water absorption, high heat resistance, low corrosion, high hardness, etc.

The Medical Device industry has a wide variety of products and applications, ranging from artificial joints to diagnostic equipment and therapeutic aids. Yet for different applications there are often overlapping requirements that help narrow down the list of possible material choices. For example, most devices require surfaces that do not absorb moisture and can be easily sterilised.

Medical device parts are often manufactured by injection moulding, additive manufacturing (3D printing), and CNC machining. CNC parts have the advantage of a high degree of customisation, tight tolerances, great surface treatments and certified material choices. When using CNC machining, parts are usually milled with 3 to 5 axis machines or turned with a live tooling CNC lathe. Below are the metals and plastic materials that are frequently used for the production of Medical Devices.

Commonly Used Plastics and Composites for Medical Devices

Most common plastics for Medical Devices have low water absorption (moisture resistance) and decent thermal properties. Most any of the materials listed below can be sterilised using an autoclave, gamma, or EtO (ethylene oxide) method. Low surface friction, as well as better temperature resistance, are also preferred by the medical industry. In addition to direct or indirect contact housings, fixtures and conductors, plastic can also serve as a substitute for metals where magnetic and / or RF (radio frequency) signals can interfere with diagnostic results.

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Commonly Used Metals for Medical Devices

The best processed metals for the Medical Devices industry naturally have high corrosion resistance, the ability to be sterilised and are easy to clean. Stainless steel is common, because untreated it has virtually no rust, little or no magnetic properties and is easy to machine. Some stainless steels can be heat treated to improve hardness. Materials such as titanium provide high strength-to-weight ratios that are beneficial for handhelds, wearables and implantable medical devices.

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CNC Parts for Medical Devices

Whether it’s a medical or dental project requiring machined titanium or smooth PTFE, manufacturing platforms such as Batchforce can quickly provide pricing, lead times, required certificates, and part inspection in one interface. Batchforce helps to choose the best production partner for the work ordered through our AI powered platform.