Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 19

As a batch process, nitriding typically
requires waiting for the prior batch to be
treated, cooled, and unloaded before a
new batch can be started. Shuttle and
tandem extensions are now available to
streamline the batch process.
With a shuttle extension, an additional
vacuum chamber bottom may be
added to a furnace. During a running
nitriding process, the unloading of an
earlier batch and the loading/preparing
of a subsequent batch on the second vacuum
chamber is possible. The cycle time
therefore for two consecutive batches is
reduced because of the overlapping of
the time for unloading/loading of a vacuum
chamber with the treatment time
of the running process.
With a tandem extension there are two
complete vacuum chambers that are
operated alternately by the vacuum
pumps, the process gas supply, the plasma
generator, and the control unit of the
system. In situations such as unmanned
weekend operations, an automatic
process can be started and controlled for
both batches in succession. With this
type of operational structure, it is possible
to increase overall nitriding capacity
by 30-60 percent annually.
Because plasma nitriding uses environmentally
friendly nitrogen and hydrogen,
the furnaces can be collocated with
the machining of components without
requiring a separate room. Moreover,
the pulse plasma nitriding systems produce
no polluting gases. This makes
nitriding more efficient as part of an
overall manufacturing process as an
operator can locate the furnaces beside
their drilling machines.
Pulse plasma offers significantly more
precision in nitriding through the control
of the mixture of gases, the controllability
of glow discharge intervals, the
design of the pulsed signal, and the use
of a highly insulated hot wall nitride furnace.
Together with innovations in the
design of the furnaces to streamline
batch management in nitriding operations,
medical manufacturers who de -
pend on nitriding components can benefit
from greater uniformity of results,
better-protected materials, and increased
throughput.
Finally, there are emerging surface and
coating technologies that may have a
commercial impact on the future of medical
devices. One such technique is
known as powder immersion reaction
assisted coating (PIRAC), a relatively
inexpensive nitriding treatment that can
Medical Design Briefs, January 2022
Cov
ToC
provide a remarkable improvement in
surface characteristics of titanium alloys.3
References
1. Piconi, C. " Bioinert Ceramics: State-of-theArt. "
Key Engineering Materials 758
(November 2017): 3-13. https://doi.org/
10.4028/www.scientific.net/kem.758.3.
2. Bedouin, Y. et al. " Enhancement of the
biocompatibility by surface nitriding of a
low-modulus titanium alloy for dental
implant applications: Surface Nitriding of
Low Modulus Ti-27Nb Alloy for Dental
Implants. " J Biomed. Mater. Res. Part B Appl.
Biomat. 107. 10.1002/jbm.b.34240.
3. Attard, B. et al. (2018). " Improving the
surface characteristics of Ti-6Al-4V and
Timetal 834 using PIRAC nitriding
treatments. " Surface and Coatings Technology.
339. 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2018.01.051.
This article was written by Thomas Palamides,
Senior Product and Sales Manager at PVA TePla
America, Corona, CA, and Dietmar Voigtländer,
Senior Sales Manager at PlaTeG - Product
Group with PVA Industry Vacuum Systems
(IVS), Wettenberg, Germany. For more information,
visit http://info.hotims.com/82317-342.
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Free Info at http://info.hotims.com/82317-712
19
https://www.doi.org/10.4028/www.scientific.net/kem.758.3 http://info.hotims.com/82317-342 http://info.hotims.com/82317-712 http://info.hotims.com/82317-803

Medical Design Briefs - January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Medical Design Briefs - January 2022

Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Intro
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Sponsor
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov1a
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov1b
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov1
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov2
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 1
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 2
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 3
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 4
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 5
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 6
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 7
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - 8
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Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov3
Medical Design Briefs - January 2022 - Cov4
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