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Surface Finishing, Coating & Plating of Nitinol

Surface finishing

  • Chemical etch removes oxide from nitinol, including recast layers formed by laser cutting or wire EDM
  • Electro-polish improves nitinol corrosion resistance by making the surface finish smoother
  • Mechanical polish removes oxide or recast as well, and can be fine-tuned to make very subtle changes to the surface or to create a shiny polish
  • Passivation chemically creates a titanium-rich oxide layer that improves corrosion resistance
  • Slurry ID cleaning creates a smooth, clean ID surface
  • Microblasting employs sand, a fine but abrasive media, to create a matte textured surface. The process removes the recast layers and can also be used to improve adhesion during downstream overmolding or bonding.

Coatings and platings

PTFE and FEP are hydrophobic coatings that increase lubricity, desirable in medical applications where devices need to slide easily within the body. Unfortunately both coatings typically cure at temperatures and times that risk altering the thermo-mechanical properties of the nitinol devices they coat. As part of our ongoing investment in research, we developed a low-temperature cure PTFE that significantly reduces unintended changes to the nitinol’s thermomechanical properties while preserving lubricity.

We also use Parylene coatings, which can be applied in the tightest of spaces due to their vacuum deposition application.

We apply a variety of platings, often comprised of gold, platinum or tantalum, conferring radiopacity to make a device easier to see under fluoroscopy.