What Aluminum oxide blasting grit to use for Medical Devices

Medical devices can be cleaned and repaired using abrasive blast media. Specifically, this process is called microblasting.

Microblasting is a method often used on small medical devices like bone screws, dental implants, and nitinol stents. These tools are often blasted in order to smoothen the texture of the surface or remove burrs. When dealing with rather small and delicate equipment like medical devices, aluminum oxide isn’t the best option. 

For microblasting medical devices, professionals often use either calcium phosphate or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). These media are, compared to the alternatives like aluminum oxide or garnet, are both significantly more gentle and softer. 

They’re made up of small grains and are considerably less aggressive on the surface, making them less likely to cause any warping or uneven texture. Due to their softness, they also take a bit longer to accomplish the job and are likely not the most efficient option. 

It’s also important to consider the grit size of your abrasive media. The higher the grit number, the finer the abrasive is, which creates a smooth surface finish. It also lowers your chances of damaging the surface of equipment. Lower grit numbers mean the abrasives are more coarse, which cause materials to scrape off much quicker. A low grit abrasive media can cause damage if you’re not careful

With all these factors to consider, what’s the most efficient option?

Are there any other options?

With the EpiX and KinetiX superoxalloy abrasives from 10X Engineered Materials, the blasting process will be more effective and more efficient.

While these are rough abrasives, they can be blasted at a lower PSI to reduce the amount of pressure being applied to the surface. They will likely not work as quickly or efficiently as they do when blasted at high pressure, but projects like medical devices require a more gentle approach when it comes to abrasive blasting.

They’re made up of polymorphous particles, meaning they can perform more than one job at a time during a blasting job, allowing the process to go quicker. Additionally, they can be reused many times, for either future medical device blasting or other industrial projects. 

They’re also safer than alternatives like sand and have no free silica, no beryllium, no heavy metals, and no crystalline structures.

Currently, KinetiX and EpiX are available from abrasive distributors around the US. If you don’t see a distributor near you, contact 10X and we will work with you to get you what you need. EpiX abrasive, which is best for precision applications such as powder coating and medical applications, is also available to purchase directly from the 10X Engineered Materials website.