One of the fastest growing segments of the miniature machining industry is medical parts, especially orthopedic implants and prostheses. This is because the worldwide population of people over the age of 65 is expected to triple by the year 2050. Alert Swiss automatic and miniature machine shops and Iscar have begun to prepare for this by developing machining tools that can work with titanium alloy Ti6AI4V.
The main differentiating feature in medical part manufacturing is that 90% of the implant components are made of this titanium alloy Ti6Al4V, an unfamiliar metal in this industry.
Titanium 6AL-4V is commonly used for hip joints, bone screws, knee joints, bone plates, dental implants, and surgical devices, though recently cobalt and chromium alloys have been gaining popularity.
Machining titanium alloys requires cutting forces comparably higher than those required for machining steels. In contrast, titanium alloys present metallurgical characteristics that make machining more difficult than steels of equivalent hardness.
Iscar’s focus is to provide creative solutions utilising its innovative cutting tools to improve quality and shorten the manufacturing time of these medical parts. They are designing specific lines of tools, inserts and chipbreakers for machining titanium alloy Ti6Al4V and producing high quality ground inserts, such as the VCET, DCET and the CCET, all with the WF chipbreaker.
For certain applications, Iscar can offer its fine VCGT inserts with its MD chipbreaker for high surface quality. Iscar’s unique Jet-Cut parting system with 3mm and 4mm inserts is available in its submicron grade 908, providing high quality surfaces and extended tool life.
Iscar is currently developing a new HP system for its Tang-Grip tools and hopes announce their availability in the very near future.
To view this entire story from the September issue of Australian Manufacturing Technology please visit AMTIL 's Ferret listing and follow the links from there.