Wire EDM and the Medical Field

In the medical industry countless improvements and discoveries have been made in the recent years. Artificial joints, surgical screws, breathing valves, ect, are all things that we give little thought to but the benefits of them are life changing. When I broke my femur a titanium rod and screw had to be placed inside to mend it, and they will remain there for the rest of my life. Items this important cannot be faulty. They are complex and intricate, and need to be created with the utmost care and quality. While TVs and ipods are updated constantly and old versions become obsolete in a matter of years, medical equipment should always last a lifetime, or as close to is as possible.

A great way to achieve these products is through EDM. Perhaps the most popular method of electrical discharge machining is wire EDM. This method is used to cut, drill, etch and machine electrically conductive metals into their desired products or parts. A thin brass wire is fed through a pre-drilled hole and clamped at both ends. EDM drilling is usually used to create these holes in the metal. A generator or other power source is used to produce electrical energy through the wire. These sparks melt away the unwanted metal, forming it into the form or shape needed.

Wire EDM is a cleaner and more accurate method than traditional shaping of products. The products are flawless and smooth, which is vital when it comes to medical equipment that could be placed in your body. Rough edges rubbing and scraping bones isn’t something you want to deal with everyday for the rest of your life. Not only are medical parts produced this way, but many of the tools used to place and remove the parts are used in this process too. Other medical products produced through electrical discharge machinery include surgical cathodes, syringe components, pieced for dental implants, surgical hardware (screws and bolts), splints and joint support.

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