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September/October 2011
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Metal Injection Molded Components

A set of typical metal injection molded components.

A new ASTM International standard will add opportunities for metal injection molded medical manufacturers to use materials other than castings and wrought products to develop implants with similar properties at reduced costs.

F2885, Specification for Metal Injection Molded Titanium-6Aluminum-4Vanadium Components for Surgical Implant Applications, was developed by Subcommittee F04.12 on Metallurgical Materials, part of ASTM International Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices.

“There are many different applications for metal injection molded medical components,” says Jim Gardner, technical consultant, Thortex Inc., and F04.12 member. “Many smaller complex components like bone screws can be produced near net and require minimal machining to produce the finished product. This provides a significant reduction in production costs.”

Gardner says that, in addition to bone screws, nuts and other small bone implants as well as larger components like cups and hip stems can be produced by the metal injection molded process.

“The properties of the MIM component are similar to annealed wrought product and equal to or better than the investment cast component,” says Gardner.

According to Gardner, F2885 will be primarily used by original equipment medical device manufacturers that produce titanium medical components. Gardner also notes that another standard developed and approved by F04.12 last year, F2886, Specification for Metal Injection Molded Cobalt-28Chromium-6Molybdenum Components for Surgical Implant Applications, offers manufacturers additional options for producing medical implants that were not available in the past.

All interested parties, particularly MIM companies interested in producing medical related components and medical device original equipment manufacturers, are welcome to participate.

CONTACT

Technical Information: Jim Gardner, Thortex Inc., Oregon City, Ore.

Phone: 503-453-7524

ASTM Staff: Pat Picariello

Phone: 610-832-9720