Additive Manufacturing Support
In healthcare, and with implants in particular, Additive Manufacturing (AM) can pose a big problem because of the porosity of AM products. The porosity has the potential to harbor stray particles which can, overtime, migrate out of the implanted product and into patients. We provide cleaning process validation services to help ensure your processes are effectively cleaning your devices so that they are safe for use.
Another major concern for AM products is mechanical strength. Many AM products suffer failure mechanisms under lower strains than non-AM devices. Our experts perform wear and fatigue testing to analyze how and why devices fail.
We help you from the outset of your project, by characterizing and optimizing your starting powder material, and then work alongside you during product design to really understand the impact of the new process.
As materials experts, we care about what is going on at the microstructural level, as well as the component level. Some of the projects we have worked on include:
- Starting powder characteristics (size, flow, composition) and the impact on the AM process
- Cleanliness of AM parts and how to design a cleaning protocol that is effective and satisfies the regulatory bodies
- Which quality control measures are really important for AM products vs. traditional processing routes
- Investigating how the AM microstructure affects your products, how much it influences its mechanical properties and fatigue strength, and how can it be improved
- Analyzing residual debris within your porous structure – how detrimental it is and how to remove it.