Demanding processing in the medical device industry? Laser processing technology to ease the problem!


The sudden outbreak of the epidemic has brought far-reaching effects to various industries, and in the "post-epidemic" era, China's medical device industry is still developing steadily. Laser processing technology has been widely used in the medical device industry because of its many advantages such as precise processing, high flexibility, excellent processing quality, little or no post-processing, etc. Its main processing technologies include laser welding, laser cutting and laser marking, which have good application prospects. What are the applications of laser in medical devices?

What are the applications of laser in medical devices?

Laser welding.

Laser welding technology has a huge application market in the manufacturing of medical devices, and it can be said that the manufacturing of medical devices is largely inseparable from laser welding. The main reason is that in the manufacture of medical devices, most of the raw materials used by manufacturers are stainless steel or aluminum alloy products, which have a very high demand for welding accuracy and stability. Laser welding process can make the welding effect smooth and flat, the weld seam delicate and fine, and keep the appearance as beautiful as possible. The laser is a non-contact process during the welding process. At the same time, the energy density of the welding is highly concentrated, the heating and cooling speed during welding is fast, the heat-affected zone is small, and the deformation of the material is avoided.

In addition, the use of laser processing can be automatic welding, without the need for welding wire solder, environmental protection and hygiene. Moreover, the welding process is stable, the surface and inner quality of the weld is good, and the performance of the finished workpiece is high. The process has been used for welding surgical instruments, implants, and stainless steel and titanium instruments, minimally invasive instruments, dental surgical instruments, surgical instruments, and pacemakers and other instruments. In endoscopic processing, the laser welds thin tubes together with precisely quantified laser pulses in a small area of action, resulting in a small heat reaction zone of the workpiece and ensuring that the workpiece is not distorted and deformed.

Laser cutting.

Laser cutting is a process that uses a laser beam to cut material by melting or searing it, resulting in a smooth, burr-reduced surface on the workpiece and eliminating the need for subsequent processing. Because of its flexibility, the laser can be better adapted to different areas of the medical device industry, such as processing orthopedic implants. The focused laser beam is absorbed at the surface of the part and melts the material, while the mechanical energy (e.g. chemical energy) is supplied by a gas coaxial to the laser beam to remove the melted material. In addition, with the help of inert gases such as nitrogen, argon or helium, the laser can be used to achieve a "clean cut", which ensures that the cut surface is chemically free, relatively free of burrs and debris, and with a small heat affected zone.

Laser drilling.

The main principle of laser drilling is that by focusing a laser beam to a diameter approximately equal to the diameter of the desired hole and focusing it on a fixed material surface, a series of laser pulses melts the material to remove it until a hole is formed. A continuous drilling method is called drilling on-the-fly (DoF for short), which is based on impact drilling, where the components are rotated at a specific speed for the purpose of drilling in a specific arrangement. In other words, a single laser pulse is applied at the location of the hole in a specific arrangement, and then additional laser pulses continue to be applied to each hole location during subsequent rotations of the assembly until the desired hole is formed.

Whether in the production of endoscopes, medical devices or metallic materials in implants, lasers work precisely to achieve fast and repeatable processing with premium quality.

Laser Marking.

In the medical device industry, product identification, traceability and plagiarism prevention are highly valued. When marking stainless steel surgical and dental devices, for example, the markings are easier to read with laser processing and can be 100 times more resistant to sterilization. What's more, laser marking is on an absolutely smooth surface, which prevents bacteria from adhering to the surface of medical devices, which is significant for medical devices. In addition, the surface of the marked object has not been chemically passivated for corrosion resistance, which allows the anti-corrosion coating to remain smooth and shiny even after years of use and countless cleaning and disinfection. By creating a tempered color on the surface of metallic materials or a discoloration on plastic surfaces, the laser beam can quickly produce all marks, graphics or 2D codes in a consistently high resolution. But the material is also sterilized at high temperatures without damaging the markings, something that no process other than laser processing can do at the same time.

Laser cautery.

Laser cautery technology is currently considered one of the top medical manufacturing processes in the industry because of its versatility. Manufacturers can sequentially remove layers of material up to microns thick to manufacture medical devices with extreme precision. The technology can be used for a wide range of medical products, both metal and polymer-based, including neurovascular, cardiovascular and catheter products.

The potential of laser cautery technology is virtually unlimited as it uses a similar technology concept to additive manufacturing, but the method removes one layer rather than adding one layer at a time.

In addition to the applications listed above, laser technology is increasingly being used in the medical field.

In laser diagnostics, where lasers can penetrate deeper into the tissue for diagnosis, directly reflecting the tissue condition and providing a sufficient basis for the physician's diagnosis.

In laser treatment, laser surgery treatment has small incisions, basically no or minimal damage to tissues, and few toxic side effects reactions. At present, laser clinical applications include myopia correction, retinal repair, tooth decay repair, and molecular-level minimally invasive surgery.

At the same time, laser is also a key technology for medical diagnosis, which not only solves many medical problems, but also contributes to medical development.

Laser processing technology, whether in medical devices or in other medical fields, will promote the further development of the laser medical industry in the future, and its future development space is vast. At the same time, it also symbolizes that China's laser market will usher in a more vigorous development period.