Industrial finishing equipment manufacturer Guyson International Ltd, headquartered in Skipton, North Yorkshire, UK, has launched a new ‘Powder Flush’ system designed specifically to flush residual powder from medical implant trabecular structures, once additively manufactured.
Additively manufactured orthopaedic implants are typically made by Electron Beam or Laser Powder Bed Fusion (EB- or L-PBF) processes from titanium powders. After manufacture, the bulk of the residual powder is removed from the build block with brushes and vacuums, sometimes followed with an air-wash or blast process to remove any semi-adhered powder particles, but because of the nature of the porous trabecular structures, small powder residues often remain trapped inside the component and must be removed.
The Guyson Powder Flush is based on the company’s Orbit 600 rotary basket spray wash unit, built in full stainless steel 304 construction, fitted with a 100 l insulated tank and hot spray flushing facilitated through a high flow rate and pressure pump fitted with viton seals. The machine offers directed jets for powerful component flushing followed by compressed air-wash.
A PLC/HMI control panel to the left of the machine provides data monitoring and timed pre-heat function ensuring accurate and repeatable process operation. LED interior lighting and a double glazed viewing window, in the lid, facilitates visual checks on parts in process.
In operation, the implants are individually or batch loaded on non-contaminating fixtures presenting the work piece to the directed flushing jets in close proximity to the trabecular surface, thus ensuring thorough powder removal. Timed electronic door interlocks prevent the door opening during operation and until hot steam has dissipated at the end of the process.
The machine is also equipped with process alarm signals with audible and visual cues via an Andon beacon to show the end of part processing, as well as fluid-level sensing and advanced filtration, fitted to the rear of the unit.