Rugby, UK – Micro-cutting stents is one of the most demanding manufacturing applications in the medical device industry. With tube diameters between 1 mm and 10 mm and a wall thickness of around 100 µm, precision cutting is essential. It is also critical that the cut metal does not have rough edges as the stents are permanently inserted into arteries.
At this year's BIOMEDevice exhibition, held in San Jose, Calif., on December 6-7, visitors to JK Lasers' booth discovered how medium power range, single mode fiber lasers can micro-cut medical instruments to produce small kerf widths (20 to 30 µm).
These laser deliver dross-free cuts with very high contour accuracy (<5 µm). As a result, the amount of post-processing required to achieve a high quality finish is vastly reduced. Delivering highly concentrated, controlled amounts of heat, the resulting heat affected zone (HAZ) is small. Typical cutting speeds for medical stents with a single mode laser output are around 1 m per minute.
Also on display at BIOMEDevice was JK Lasers' recently launched 1 kW fiber laser. This high powered addition to the JK Lasers' range is particularly well-suited for welding hermetic seals on medical devices and for cutting larger surgical tools, such as bone saws.
JK Lasers is a subsidiary of GSI Group Inc.