A sealing process, solvent bonding bonds pieces of material using a strong solvent. The solvent used to bond the materials together works by softening and dissolving the material.
The surface molecules of the materials mix together while simultaneously dissolving. The surfaces form a permanent seal as the solvent evaporates.
Materials used with this technique are plastics and plastic tubing. In medical device assembly, solvent bonding seals IV tubing to ports and connectors. Heat can warp the tubes.
UV curing is an adhesive application process. Ultraviolet light and visible light creates a reaction that generates a crosslinked network of polymers. This hardens liquid material to create a strong adhesive.
UV curing bonds dissimilar materials together. Materials such as plastics, glass, steel, or rubber bond together with this technique. UV curing is a low temperature, high-speed process that is a great solution for many applications.
Providien Device Assembly has extensive experience with UV curing. We and commonly use the following grades of Loctite in our medical device assembly and manufacturing operations:
- USP Class 6
- 7701 PRIMER
- 43310 Polish Cleaner
Ultrasonic welding creates a solid state-weld. High-frequency ultrasonic acoustic vibrations apply to a nest and a horn under pressure. The existing material makes a joint that presses into another material.
The horn pushes into the top of the material. Vibrations move through the horn to the material. The vibrations reach anywhere between 20 to 40 kilohertz. The vibrations cause friction, which creates heat that melts the parts together.
Ultrasonic welding is commonly used for plastics, and typically for joining dissimilar materials. This form of welding uses existing materials to form a bond.
It does not introduce new adhesives. This makes it ideal for medical device assembly. The quick technique allows for repetition.
Thermoplastic materials are the most common materials used in ultrasonic welding.
Friction Fit Assembly
Friction fit is fastening between two parts. Friction pushes parts together, rather than by any other means of fastening. Friction Fit can also be referred to as Press Fit or Interference Fit.
Radio Frequency Welding
R.F. or radio frequency welding is the process of bonding together two materials. R. F. uses electromagnetic energy to bond the materials together. An electric field causes polar molecules to shift. This movement creates heat.
When enough heat forms, the molecules begin bonding to each other. No outside heat source gets used in this process. The weld finishes by applying pressure to the bonds to seal them together.
R.F. Welding, in particular, creates a complete, air-tight seal. This is ideal in medical device assembly. R. F. Welding creates bonds between many different materials, including:
- Thermoplastic polyurethanes
Catheter Tipping, Punching And Flaring
Catheter tipping is any secondary process performed on a catheter shaft or tip. It uses heat to make a rounded tip on the end of a tube. A rounded head makes insertion easier. Typically, radio frequency heats the end of the tube until it is malleable. Another tube used as a mold presses into the tube. This creates the rounded edge.
Pad printing is a printing process that includes transferring a 2-D image onto a 3-D object. This includes labels on catheters and units of measure on syringes. These objects have small surface areas, requiring precision printing.
Pad printing comes in handy for these projects. It can effectively print on small objects. Regular printing cannot mark or brand uniquely shaped objects. Pad printing uses special techniques and machines to label such materials.
Common pad printing applications include:
- Tube Marking
- Hole Punching
- Hub Printing
- Rigid Plastic Printing
- Marker Band Printing
- Micro-Catheter Printing
- Logo Applications
Hot stamping is a dry printing method of lithography. Pre-dried ink or foils get transferred to a surface at high temperatures and is common for plastics.
A “die” heats up above the product to be marked. A roll-leaf foil gets placed between the two. When the hot die presses down, it transfers the mark onto the product.
Since all products are dry, the process does not cause pollution.
The silicone or metal dies have fine detail that get transferred to the product. The foil acts as an adhesive.
They have multiple layers that include a color base, adhesive base, and release base.
Sewing can has uses for specific medical device manufacturing operations. Primarily, medical sewing applies to devices that have cloth. Manual sewing or machine sewing have applications within medical device assembly.
Tool & Assembly Fixture Development
Providien Device Assembly has a breadth of experience developing tooling and fixtures for a wide range of applications. Providien has extensive experience with designing tools and fixtures to improve the manufacturing process.
This includes tools and fixtures that can reduce cycle time, improve quality, reduce scrap and provide enhanced ergonomics for the assembly technicians. Providien Device Assembly’s Green and Black Belt Engineers are developed through the Providien Academy and are experts in the process of tool and fixture development to improve your medical device assembly manufacturing.