The Technical Ceramics business of Morgan Advanced Materials is expecting an imminent surge in demand for ceramic medical and dental components as a result of a recent change in legislation whereby some USA medical insurers now cover implantable devices. Morgan’s proprietary zirconia grade is already ISO 13356 approved, ensuring full compliance with stringent regulations around the production of medical implements.
This includes applications such as surgical tips that are widely used in microwave ablation operations for cancer treatment, as well as implantable casings that can become part of a miniaturised bioelectronic device used in cranial and spinal implants. ‘Metal free’ dental implants are also widely acknowledged as the next phase in dental implant technology.
Morgan’s Technical Ceramics division will take advantage of its continued investment in Ceramic Injection Moulding technology to meet demand for complex parts such as implants to be produced in high volumes to tolerances as low as 0.5%. Compared with conventional methods for manufacturing engineering ceramic components, where tolerances are typically between 1 – 2%, the CIM approach eliminates the time and cost associated with additional machining of components, resulting in high tolerance parts in complex geometries with shorter lead times.
Many implants now incorporate electrical circuits as part of their design, adding further complexity to the supply chain due to the requirement for specialist brazing. The company reports that it has the capability to deliver ceramic to metal assemblies using molybdenum manganese (MoMn) brazing and metallised ceramics, as well as active alloy brazing with Morgan Technical Ceramics’ extensive range of active, braze alloys.
Dr Yifei Zhang, Business Development Manager at Morgan Technical Ceramics, explained, “We are expecting a real increase in demand for medical implants and our integrated business model means we are well positioned to help accommodate future demand. Our long-standing relationship with the medical sector makes us the ideal partner for manufacturers of implants.”