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Stream Finishing For Knee Implants

According to WebMD, knee replacement surgery is one of the most common bone surgeries in the United States. As knee replacement surgeries become more common, there is more demand for the artificial joints used for these procedures. OTEC’s stream finishing machines are highly effective for deburring, rounding, smoothing and polishing axially-supported knee prostheses, a frequently-used type of knee implant.

Axially supported prostheses feature two components joined by a stabilizing hinge, with one of the components featuring a box-shaped configuration. Because of this box-shaped structure, finishing these parts can be challenging. Some of the advantages of utilizing OTEC’s stream finishing technology when working with knee implants include: 

  • Uniform surfaces
  • Consistent workpiece quality
  • Process reliability
  • No manual finishing
  • Option to process up to three knee joints in one pass
  • Quick process time 
  • No programming required

Using OTEC’s stream finishing machines, workpieces are clamped together and lowered into a rotating container filled with an abrasive or polishing medium. The workpiece rotates and is processed as the medium circulates around it. Our SF Series 3 Automation Stream Finishing machine can perform multiple processing steps very quickly in a single operation, which means a workpiece can be rapidly deburred, rounded, smoothed and polished in sequence, with no additional workload. 

Because of the unique box shape of stabilized knee implants, OTEC’s stream finishing machines offer two main advantages:  a contour-controlled motion sequence and an adjustable workpiece angle. These features make it possible to target the media flow at specific sections of a workpiece for particularly intensive processing. That translates to effective results in minimal time. Material abrasion can be controlled and it’s also possible to set precise roughness parameters based on the process: with initial work-piece values of Ra 0.8–1.2 µm you can achieve outstandingly smooth target values of up to Ra 0.01 µm.

When processing large volumes of workpieces, short loading and set-up times make operations much more efficient. OTEC’s SF Automation Series machines can be fitted with optional pulse finishing and work well in cyclic production lines. Depending on the requirements, the machines can either be set up for automatic loading or fitted with it as an integrated option. The machine design is modular and therefore easy to adjust to cycle time. Additionally, our SF Automation Series machines can be easily integrated as elements of any production line.

At OTEC, we can deliver the right machine for any surface finishing requirement, along with the ideal abrasive and a customized process. We can adapt and develop specific solutions based on your needs. We’re able to come up with a process based on your samples and ensure it’s reproducible and efficient, with professional documentation for all process technology parameters.