A SPECIAL NOTE ON VIRUSES AND BACTERIA IN RESPECT TO ALUMINUM SURFACES:
At this time of extreme health concern, specifiers must carefully consider how material choices may impact the spread of viruses, bacteria and infectious diseases in healthcare facilities and other public spaces.
While much about the coronavirus is still under investigation, research has demonstrated significant differences in the longevity of viruses on various surfaces, and there are a variety of treatments that appear to further reduce the growth and survival of viruses and bacteria, enhancing the surface’s ability to destroy pathogens.
A major research study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection tested human coronavirus strains for longevity on various material surfaces and found that the virus lasted only two to eight hours on aluminum, but days on many other materials.
We encourage you to access the full white paper on this topic which can be found at AEC.org.
Medical Microextrusions: Process, Benefits, and Examples
Advancements in medical microextrusions technology in recent years have allowed manufacturers to create high quality products for the world of medical OEMs. With a range of dimensions that can reach as small as 0.024 in., OD with up to 6 lumens, and an ID range that can reach 0.003, it’s no surprise that many OEMs are turning to companies like Taber Extrusions that can provide products within these parameters. (Source: medicaldesignbriefs.com)
In fact, micro-sized medical components are quickly becoming crucial to modern hospital safety and cost-efficiency. Whether it be for micro-tubing or micro sized components, the microextrusion process provides a number of benefits to engineers, OEMs, and patients.
In the quest to create higher quality medical devices, companies are looking to enhance existing products (including catheters and precise flow restrictors) through miniaturization, while ultimately reducing the costs of production.
Medical products that utilize microextrusion technology overwhelmingly support cardio-and-neurovascular procedures, drug delivery, IV procedures, and other procedures that require work on a micro level.
By minimizing the impact of invasive procedures, the medical industry can reduce complications, make procedures faster and more efficient, and ultimately reduce patient in-time and overall healthcare costs.
WHAT’S THE MICROEXTRUSION PROCESS LIKE?
Manufacturing the miniature components used in a medical microextrusion device poses a unique challenge for microextrusion providers. These components cannot be created using conventional extrusion machinery. Instead, they require precise, state-of-the-art equipment that allows for a high degree of precision and control over the process, as well as Engineers and technicians that possess deep knowledge of both the material and the process itself.
However, at its core, the process is similar to that of regular extrusion.
The material is either pushed forward (direct) or pulled through (indirect) a die orifice to create the shape required. Unlike macro-level extrusions, microextrusions are extruded at a very slow rate to maintain the physical properties of materials that are often delicate.
Done properly, microextrusions can create end products that have complex cross sections and preserved chemical properties.
BENEFITS TO OEMs
In years previous, OEM’s requests for medical products would require them to re-outfit their existing extrusion machines, which would take more time and far less efficient. With many manufacturers outfitting themselves with microextrusion machinery, the time required to create the product is drastically reduced.
As stated above, microextrusions can achieve their desired performance at fractions of the cost, due to the lower cost in materials that are used. As the development of the technology continues to improve, so to do the devices that are used in tandem with them. (i.e fibre optic cable, sensors, stints, etc.)
Psychological benefit to patients
A patient’s positive mental state can be a great asset to their recovery. Waning are the days of large, invasive medical devices that can cause patients discomfort. Smaller, less intrusive devices can go a long way. (source: Medical Plastic News)
- Infant/pediatric care
- Heart leads
- Vascular Surgery
About Taber Extrusions
Founded in 1973, Taber Extrusions originally pioneered a process for extruding rectangular billet which enables the company to extrude solid profiles up to 31 inches wide or hollows up to 29 inches. Taber expanded with the purchase of an extrusion facility in Gulfport, MS., in 1995 which houses a new state of the art cast house and two additional presses, micro-extrusion capabilities, and the fabrication area has been expanded multiple times.
Taber continues to extrude billet in a wide range of alloys and sizes, and has diversified its markets beyond military since its inception to include aerospace, automotive, marine, infrastructure, and sporting goods, among many others. For these markets, the company supplies cast and extruded products in a variety of soft and hard alloys.
Today, Taber Extrusions has completed the addition of in-house Friction Stir Welding capabilities, and carries on their offering of extruded aluminum components, value-added machining services and raw material supply to the North American market – making them a vertically integrated supplier of FSW panels and assemblies never before seen in North America.
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