Custom investment casting is used in many medical products that aid in the increasing quality of care patients receive, time spent in recovery, and the prevention of complications. The science is responsible for some of the greatest achievements in modern medicine, including knee and hip replacements. A recent study about knee and hip arthroplasties found that 7.2 million Americans have an implant. It’s estimated that between 2005 and 2013, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. will increase by 600 percent. Hip replacements will increase by about 200 percent over the same period. Investment casting manufacturers have an important role in the health of Americans as they continue to produce innovative replacement parts and components for the medical devices that heal them.
Investment Casting Overview
Investment casting is a time-tested metal-forming technique. It involves the creation of a three-dimensional wax pattern to make a mold, or investment. After completing the mold, a manufacturer melts the wax inside and pours molten metal into the cavity. When the metal hardens, the manufacturer removes the investment to reveal the cast part.
Why the Need for Investment Castings Will Increase in the Medical Industry
Factors driving the demand for custom investment castings in the medical community include innovation, the increasing need for healthcare professionals, and health trends. Technology is a fast-paced field, and the medical industry is quick to follow the latest innovations. These innovations require the help of investment casting manufacturers to make prototypes and mass-produce the components necessary for patient care and therapeutic technologies.
Between 2016 and 2026, the need for healthcare workers is expected to grow by 18 percent, which is much faster than average. The addition of 2.4 million jobs is the result of an increased demand for medical care as Baby Boomers age and the population grows. As the demand for healthcare rises, so will the need for basic investment-cast components found in clinics and operating rooms.
The average age of patients requiring joint-replacement procedures, such as knee and hip replacements, has decreased. Surgeons also replace ankles, wrists, elbows and shoulders using investment-cast components. The average age of patients undergoing hip replacement surgeries has fallen from 66 to 65. The average age for knee replacements declined from 68 to 66. The age decline could be an indication of a more active lifestyle among seniors, as well as increasing obesity levels. While age the declines are small, it is important to note that the components used in replacement surgeries have a lifespan of about 20 years. Therefore, patients electing to have joint replacement surgery at a relatively young age face the possibility of a repeat procedure in the future.
As healthcare providers work toward mitigating negative patient outcomes by improving the performance of implant devices, foundries are naturally at the forefront of medical developments.
Medical Equipment that Use Investment-Cast Parts
- Operating tables
- Operating instruments
- X-ray machines
- MRI machines
- Implantable components
- Devices that stabilize injuries
- Pumps components
- Filter components
- Ultrasound machines
- Apheresis equipment
- Whole blood oximeters
- Hemodynamic monitoring equipment
Benefits of Investment Casting for the Medical Industry
- Manufacture complex shapes for sensitive applications with great dimensional accuracy
- The ability to use anticorrosive alloys of different grades that may be difficult to machine
- The ability to coat implants with tissue-friendly materials, such as titanium, niobium, tantalum or other alloys
- Improved surface texture to promote bone integration
- The creation of smooth, seamless components that require little to no machining
- Efficient method to manufacture parts
- Tight tolerances
- Castings are available in a variety of sizes and wall thicknesses
Popular Materials Used for Medical Investment Casting
- Stainless steel
As the demand for investment casting in the medical industry continues to increases, Sinotech is ready to meet those needs with quality, affordable solutions. Our strict quality control standards and inspection practices reduce your risks. Completing castings at our own factories reduces costs, allowing us to provide you with some of the most competitive rates on the market. Contact us today to discover the Sinotech difference.