Cost saving bone-fracture fixation plates by Metal Injection Moulding (MIM)

December 10, 2010

Dr Mohd Afian Omar, from the  SIRIM Berhad research centre in Malaysia, reports that a cost effective method of producing fracture fixation plates has been developed using the metal injection moulding process (MIM).


MIM fracture fixation plates produced

by SIRIM Berhad, Malaysia

Fracture Fixation Plates are devices used to stabilise a fractured bone, enabling fast healing and a quicker return to mobility for the patient. Wires, pins, screws, plates, nails and plates are some of the internal fixation devices generically referred to as fracture fixation devices. The fracture fixation plates have been in use since the 1950s and they are mostly made of stainless steel and occasionally, less strong but biologically superior and more elastic titanium fixation implants.

Conventionally, fracture fixation plates are made by casting, forging or machining. Despite having been in use for decades, the conventional method of production has several drawbacks, thus the need for improvement. The primary concern has been the risk of corrosion of the implants caused by the inhomogenity in cast parts. Moreover, the process has limitations as it is not suitable for high melting point materials. Another weakness in this processing system is the high capital costs required especially for the forging equipment.

Dr Afian’s states that using the MIM process counters the shortcomings of the conventional method of producing the metal plates. MIM has several proven benefits as well as being cost effective. This research now is in pre-commercialisation stage with the collaboration between SIRIM Berhad, the Medical Faculty of International Islamic University Malaysia and True Mission Sdn Bhd under the Technofund grant from the government of Malaysia.

For more information contact Dr Mohd Afian Omar, [email protected]

In the latest issue of PIM International…

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