Electropolishing Services

Capacity: Norman Noble Inc. has 2,740 sq. feet of combined manufacturing space dedicated to electropolishing, located throughout our three facilities, including:

  • Electropolishing Systems in Mass Finishing Dept.
  • 31 Automated Electropolishing Systems for Stent Manufacturing
  • Process Development Center: Surface Finishing and Electropolishing
  • Dedicated Electropolishing Rooms for NiTinol
  • Dedicated Electropolishing Rooms for Cobalt Chrome
  • Electropolishing Rooms located within Production Manufacturing Cells

 

Product Applications:Customers use our contract manufacturing services to produce some of the smallest and most complex parts for the medical device industry. Some examples would include:

  • Heart Valve Frames
  • Vascular Stents and Scaffolds
  • Bone Screws
  • Vessel Closure Implants
  • Inferior Vena Cava Filters


Electropolishing of NitinolCapabilities:
Norman Noble has the ability to electropolish using both manual and automated systems. We are committed to continual investments in electropolish technologies and these activities are managed by our dedicated research and development engineering team. Our proprietary, automated electropolishing processes utilize various engineered blends of acids that are custom designed to remove metal and enhance the surface for each medical grade alloy, such as:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium
  • Cobalt Chrome
  • NiTinol
  • Molybdenum
  • Platinum


This process enables the following: necessary metal removal, removal of stress risers, corner rounding, edge sharpening, deburring, provides high luster, removal of heat effected zones and micro-cracks, and often improves the products fatigue life. Our experienced engineering team works with the customer’s design requirements to allow for the proper material removal. All of our Electropolishing systems contain enhanced environmental controls critical to the development and manufacturing processes, including: humidity, temperature, and filtering parameters.


Process: The NNI electropolishing process utilizes various engineered blends of acids that are designed to dissolve the components of the part’s material, when the part is connected to a positive electrical charge, placed in a bath of engineered acids, and in the presence of a negatively charged counterpart.  The part then becomes the anode, the counterpart becomes the cathode. Ions flow from the part to the cathode, in a somewhat disproportionate manner.


During polishing, the acids become saturated with the dissolved metals and metal salts from the parts that have been polished. During repeated use, the solution approaches its equilibrium point and then begins precipitating out additional metals and salts to the bottom of the electropolishing system as sludge. The majority of the metal in the solution plates to the cathode
.

 

Considerations:

  • Oxygen is liberated at the anode, and hydrogen is liberated at the cathode. Therefore, electropolishing will not cause hydrogen embrittlement of the parts.
Electropolished Medical Device
  • Electropolishing can improve fatigue life by removing cold working stresses, or heat effected zones on the cut surfaces, smoothing stress risers, removing micro-cracks, and rounding corners.
  • NNI can also modify the electropolishing effect to sharpen edges and points.
  • The electropolishing effect when done properly, can improve a finish typically 2 fold, or more if tolerances allow. i.e., a 8Ra will be reduced to a 4Ra.
  • Proper electropolishing can greatly reduce the possibility of bacterial growth on critical surfaces.
  • An area to attach the rack should be identified prior to RFQ.
  • Typically, part designers target .0008” to .0010” inch removal per surface, if maximum fatigue life of the product is a concern.

Process Development

Norman Noble develops Surface Finishing and Electropolishing processes for new projects, utilizing dedicated equipment in our independent Process Development Center. This enables our process development activities for finishing to be isolated from the production areas. Our experienced team of engineers work within our Process Development Center to develop and validate the most efficient finishing processes required to machine your medtech product innovations to exact drawing specifications.

 

Surface Finishing and Electropolishing

Norman Noble’s expertise in Surface Finishing and Electropolishing is a result of decades of hands-on experience. We are dedicated to improving our electropolishing capabilities, through the proprietary design of innovative finishing systems & processes. We are constantly striving to find new and better ways to manufacture our customers’ products that depend on ultra-precision micromachining. Our Process Development team works with our customers to manufacture very early design stage prototypes, and our technologies often enable the commercialization of next generation medtech products. Our PDC also works closely with our Quality & Process Validation Department and Production staff to ensure a smooth transition from prototype to production.

Inquiries for Electropolishing projects can be sent to sales@normannoble.net or visit our RFQ page.