Medical Implants Wet Blasting

Helping to manufacture strong, safe and biocompatible medical implants


Strong and clean medical implants are essential for their functionality, longevity, patient safety, and to minimise complications or risks associated with implantation. They play a critical role in successful medical procedures and the overall well-being of the patients who receive them. 

If you are already well aware of the factors manufacturers must take into consideration when manufacturing implants then skip to our detailed explanation of how our wet blasting technology can help achieve the desired results. And if you are a manufacturer of prosthetics then scroll to the bottom of this page for our section on finishing prosthetics and/or visit our composites industry page

Manufacturers of patient-safe implants will need to meet the most rigorous standards of excellence, taking the following into account…

  • Biocompatibility: Implants must be biocompatible to minimise the risk of adverse reactions or rejection by the body. A clean surface reduces the chances of bacterial adhesion and infection. Strong materials that are inert or compatible with body tissues help ensure the implant integrates well without causing harm or triggering immune responses.
  • Durability and longevity: Strong implants are designed to withstand the physiological stresses within the body, ensuring they remain functional and stable over time. Cleanliness and proper surface preparation contribute to the longevity of the implant by preventing corrosion, degradation, or material breakdown that could compromise its structural integrity.
  • Functional performance: Clean surfaces and strong materials are essential for the proper functioning of medical implants. Whether it is a joint replacement, a dental implant, or a cardiac device, the implant must function as intended without compromising the patient's health or causing discomfort.
  • Reduced risks: A strong, clean implant minimises the risk of complications such as infections, implant failure, or the need for additional surgeries due to early implant deterioration or malfunction. This promotes patient safety and reduces healthcare costs associated with corrective procedures.
  • Facilitates procedures: During surgical placement, clean and strong implants are easier for surgeons to handle and position correctly. Properly prepared surfaces and robust materials aid in the implantation process, making it smoother and reducing potential errors.
  • Tissue integration: Clean implants with appropriate surface properties allow for better integration with surrounding tissues. This is crucial for implants like bone screws or plates where osseointegration (bone integration) is necessary for stability and functionality.
  • Maintenance of standards: Medical implants must meet stringent regulatory and quality standards to ensure patient safety. Strong, clean implants that adhere to these standards are more likely to pass rigorous testing and approval processes.

Vapormatt wet blasting for high performance medical implants

Medical implant manufacturers are increasingly turning to Vapormatt to provide wet blasting equipment that delivers the perfect finish every time.

The effect of wet blasting on a knee implant component


Puck After
Puck Before

Our wet blasting technology gives manufacturers more efficient, repeatable, and more effective finishing by delivering…

  • Perfect surface preparation: Wet blasting can effectively clean the surface of medical implants, removing burrs, surface imperfections, contaminants, and residues without damaging the implant's surface. This preparation is crucial for ensuring proper adhesion of coatings or facilitating subsequent treatments like sterilisation.

  • High levels of precision and control: Wet blasting allows for precise control over the pressure and abrasive mixture, enabling tailored treatments for different types of implants. This control ensures uniformity in surface finish, which is critical for biocompatibility and functionality.

  • Reduced material stress: Compared to dry blasting methods, wet blasting tends to generate less heat, reducing the risk of altering the material properties of the implant. This helps maintain the integrity of the implant's structure and material composition.

  • Rapid contaminant removal: Wet blasting effectively removes surface contaminants without leaving behind residues that might compromise the implant's safety or performance. This is crucial in medical implants where cleanliness and sterility are paramount.
  • Enhanced biocompatibility: Proper surface treatment through wet blasting can improve the biocompatibility of medical implants by creating a surface conducive to better integration with the body and reducing the risk of adverse reactions.
  • Biocompatible blast media: It is possible to wet blast using biocompatible materials like HIMED's calcium-phosphates. 
  • Stress relief by peening: Wet blasting can help relieve residual stresses that may have built up during the manufacturing process. This can enhance the mechanical properties and fatigue resistance of the implant, particularly in known areas of weakness.
  • Surface roughness control: Wet blasting allows for control over the surface roughness of the implants. This is essential because different implants may require specific surface finishes to optimise their performance and interaction with the surrounding tissues. Our technology makes it possible to finish implant surfaces to a specific Ra surface roughness.
  • Uniformity and consistency: The controlled nature of wet blasting helps ensure uniform treatment across multiple implants, maintaining consistency in their quality and performance.
  • Sterilisation: Wet blasting can produce a surface roughness typically between 0.25 and 0.6µm Ra – the optimum surface Ra for instruments that need to be perfectly sterilised. Learn more about wet blasting for sterilisation.
  • Health, safety and environmental considerations: Wet blasting generates less dust and airborne particles compared to dry blasting, making it a safer and more environmentally friendly finishing method compared with dry blasting. Learn more about the health, safety, and environmental aspects of wet blasting.

Additive manufactured implants

Thanks to recent advances in additive manufacturing, medical implants are increasingly manufactured using the technology. Wet blasting is highly suited to finishing AM components in all sorts of different industries including medical implant manufacturing. Learn more about wet blasting additive manufactured components by visiting our dedicated industry page.

Wet blasting for prosthetics

When it comes to prosthetics wet blasting offers a gentler cleaning action on composite surfaces, eliminating fibre damage. Reduced heat generation during processing prevents damage to any heat-sensitive materials. Surface finishes are improved to help enhance comfort and dust is suppressed during the finishing process for a safer and more environmentally friendly working environment. Wet blasting is also a highly versatile finishing process that's suitable for different types of prosthetic materials. This adaptability allows for customisation based on the specific requirements of the prosthetic being manufactured. Learn more about wet blasting composite surfaces by visiting our dedicated industry page.

In conclusion… 

Our wet blasting technology gives medical implant manufacturers the ability to produce safe, strong, biocompatible and uniformly finished implants every time. And, our technology can do this in a considerably more safe and environmentally friendly way compared with the other type of blasting technology, dry blasting.

Contact us to find out how we can help improve your medical implant finishing operation.

Medical brochures and case study

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