Sandvik Materials Technology - Business Unit Medical

Sandvik is a high-tech and global engineering Group with about 40,000 employees with a strong commitment to enhancing customer productivity, profitability and safety. Our operations are based on unique expertise in materials technology, extensive knowledge about industrial processes and close customer cooperation. 

Sandvik Group encompasses three business areas that conduct operations such as R&D, production and sales for their respective sectors. These are Sandvik Machining Solutions, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology, and Sandvik Materials Technology.

Sandvik Materials Technology is best known for its duplex stainless steels.The manufacturing of stainless steel began in 1921, and since then the business area has worked hard as an innovator to manufacture steel products for a vast array of industries and applications.

Sandvik Material Technology are set to be thought leaders in materials development. Utilizing our expertise in stainless steels, special alloys, titanium and zirconium, our online technical center offers free access to material datasheets, corrosion tables, and other useful information. 

Continuous investments in research and development (R&D), has enabled us to achieve world-leading positions in various areas. We invest 3,5 billion SEK in R&D each year and we have about 7300 active patents. Sandvik is a Swedish company founded 1862 in Sandviken. Today the headquarter is based in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. We operate in over 150 countries worldwide.

Sandvik is heavily involved in the community, including engagements such as ‘Engineers without Borders’, which improves education quality across government schools in India; the Sandvik India Gender Awards which supports gender equality and inclusion; working with the Swedish Vasa museum to provide more than 5,500 bolts to restore the old wooden warship; and working with programs to combat HIV/AIDS.

Today it is more important than ever to focus on sustainability, and Sandvik is doing just that. As part of our sustainability goal for 2030, we aim to achieve 90% circularity, halve our CO2 impact, increase focus on health and safety, and provide transparency in all of our operations and goals. In fact, in 2018, Sandvik was recognized as part of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World by Corporate Knights.

Sandvik utilizes secondary raw material (“scrap” steel), with the overall circularity currently standing at 84%. To boost this to 90%, we are working with AI experts to better determine distribution of compositions in internally recycled material to increase how much can be re-used.

Making Sandvik Material Technology’s entrance into the medical devices sector in which ultra-fine wire is used in the applications, the company introduced the EXERA® trademark in 2016 to wire-based components that are custom made to transmit, sense or stimulate within the human body. Since entering the medical devices field, Sandvik’s history and expertise in stainless steel has been invaluable.

The ultra-fine wire is manufactured at the production unit in Palm Coast, Florida, USA where you get the advantage of working with a small,
agile, custom, precision wire manufacturer and the backing of the globally integrated and resource rich Sandvik Group.

Produkte

Working with more than 200 alloys, and specializing in choosing the best materials and configurations, EXERA® wire-based components are used for a variety of medical applications including vascular therapy, biosensing and neurostimulation. So far, they have been used for devices such as;

Vascular therapy:
  • Catheters and guidewires: Medical wire requires good corrosion and moderate tensile strength, fatigue and relaxation resistance.
  • Pacing leads: Medical wire will generally need ultra-high strength, ductility, toughness and very good corrosion resistance.
  • Sandvik 12R10 HV medical wire and Sandvik 316LVM medical wire are used for these sensors, catheters and heart mapping/monitoring devices

Cochlear remediation:
  • Cochlear implants: Sandvik offers high-quality medical wires produced from platinum- iridium alloys to be encased in the silicone of the implant’s electrode array.
  • Middle ear implants: These devices require a tightly coiled metal wire for sound transmission. Sandvik offers coiled wires with a polymer or PTFE coating.
  • Bone conducting systems: Medical wire is used in these devices helps transmit energy to the transducer that is directly in contact with the skull.

Sensing solutions:
  • Thermocouple: Two or more wires made from different metals are coupled to provide a variable EMF response at different temperatures.
  • Glucose sensor: This device requires a fine wire for a sensor thinner than a needle.
  • Electrical sensors: Sandvik categorizes these devices into multi-electrode arrays and tetrodes

Stimulation therapy:
  • Deep brain stimulations: Sandvik offers high-quality conductive wires with high durability properties. These form an essential part of modern neurostimulation devices.

The ultra-fine wire is also used in other microtechnology devices. Besides ultra-fine wire Sandvik Materials Technology also produces micro-tubes and strip steel for various microtechnology and medical applications.

Regarding the materials selection the Sandvik range includes stainless steels (such as Sandvik 12R10 medical wire), carbon steel (such as Sandvik 20AP medical wire), precious metals (including platinum iridium, pure gold and silver), cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloys (such as Sandvik F562 medical wire), sensor alloys (constantan and copper) and Kanthal® resistance alloys (such as Nikrothal® 80 and Cuprothal® 49).

Dienstleistungen

The precision wire components are manufactured from stainless steels, precious metals and biocompatible alloys, creating customizable high-quality wire-solutions. Sandvik’s ability to develop custom designs to meet customer’s goals is already setting us apart from the competition in the medical and microtechnology devices field. 

There are unlimited customizations available, and we are invested in ensuring that the end-product is high-quality, effective and sustainable. Customers can choose from a variety of materials, sizes, surface treatments and product forms.

Extensive experience in material properties not only allows us to offer customers expert advice on the best components functionality and manufacturing options to reach their end-goal, but also guarantees quality unmatched by the competition.
Our focus has been continuing developing close customer partnerships by offering made-to-order build-to-print solutions, setting us apart from other suppliers.

Added value operations:
  • EXERA® medical wire-components, ribbon, multi-filar and stranded cables can be precisely cut to the customer’s requested length.
  • Customized diameters. Diameter can range from 0,01mm to 1,0 mm depending on the alloy, shape, temper and required measurement, while length can be between 5 mm to 1800mm, depending on the application.
  • If required, wire straightening can be performed in accordance with ASTM F2819 (unless specified otherwise).
  • Depending on the size that the customer requires, Sandvik’s precision wire can be delivered in a variety of forms that typically comprise either spools, braider bobbins, straightened lengths or coils. Customized coiling services are offered, ranging from free-standing inductive coils to single/multi-filar Heli coil configurations.

Sandvik also offers a range of surface treatments to meet the needs of our customer:
  • Anodizing: For aluminum alloys, reel-to-reel electrolytic passivation enhances the natural oxidation layer, resulting in improved electrical insulation, as well as a more abrasive-resistant surface. It can be applied to round or ribbon wire and the average layer is between 0.005mm and 0.010 mm.
  • Coating: Customizations include base polymer insulation and PTFE coatings to withstand temperatures up to 240°C, as well as solvent or heat activatable bond coatings for free-standing coils or joining wires. The coatings can also be pigmented for identification purposes. Sandvik offers stripping services to remove the polymer coating from the ends of the wire.
  • Electroplating and electropolishing: From ultrasonic wire bonding to enhancing electrical properties, Sandvik offers electroplated alloys such as hard and soft gold, nickel and silver for surface finish modification.

When manufacturing medical wire, hygiene is essential, so Sandvik operates in an ISO Class 7 certified cleanroom for various production stages. The environment is fully controlled using HEPA filters, laminar flow cabinets and exhaust hoods to optimize air particle count, air pressure, temperature and any other factor that could affect product quality.