Stents are used as support structures for surgery. These are often manufactured as tubes or in flat form which is then rolled into a tube. Examples of applications are blood vessels, intestines, throat, etc. These can be manufactured in different materials. In the present case, Nitinol (shape-memory alloy) is used, which has the property that it can be “programmed” to regain a desired shape at a certain temperature, for example 37 degrees centigrade.
At that point, the material then becomes very strong and can withstand pressure from nearby tumors, etc. There are high demands on surface integrity. The product must be free of sharp burrs and oxides. Previously, the customer has processed these products with a waterjet-guided Laser. This has limitations with a machining speed of about 30 mm/min and heavy slag formation. Alternative machining methods was performed with Finecut™ machine from Finepart Sweden AB with great results that can be seen in the conclusions.
|Material thickness:||0.40 mm|
|Length of cut:||2 522 mm|
|Annual volume:||5 000 pcs|
|Number of set-ups:||1|
|Average cutting speed:||126 mm / min|
|Operational cutting time:||21.2 min|
|Finecut operational cost:||5.16 EUR/pc|