Technology has changed the medical device industry. Medical devices are becoming more complex and smaller in size. It has become increasingly difficult to clean these parts while maintaining production. In order to meet those cleaning requirements, companies are looking at liquid CO2 cleaning for new applications, specifically the implant market for joint replacement, surgery, silicone, and trauma.
Silicone implants have oils left over from manufacturing that must be removed. Currently the cleaning method involves solvent washes that are not only time consuming, but hazardous to workers. We found that by using our silicone extraction process for silicone parts we can remove the contaminants with no added solvents. On top of that we can clean multiple implants in the wash vessel improving on time spent cleaning.
Outside of implant cleaning, device manufacturing has additional needs. Laser welding generates soot on the device that is a nuisance to remove. Soot removal using CO2 spray cleaning quickly and effectively removes the soot without causing damage to the fragile device.
Sintered or porous metals are used in more hip and knee replacement operations and must be cleaned extremely well to offer the best metal-to-bone bonding. Liquid CO2 is an excellent medium for sintered metal cleaning as it’s properties allow it to flow easily through the porous metal part and penetrate to provide a deep cleaning of the material.
Machining of medical devices such as PEEK plastic run into challenges with the formation of burrs. Plastic inert dry machining can be cooled with CO2 without affecting the integrity of the material, while also eliminating burrs. Plastic deburring with CO2 can be in-process, as it is being machined for burr reduction, and post-process for burr elimination. Using a focused spray of dry ice particles to blast the tiny burrs from the device, it is capable of removing inner and outer burrs with ease.