A the recent MD&M East trade show in New York, Norman Noble, discussed the capability of athermal laser manufacturer. The company has developed the Noble S.T.E.A.L.T.H. (System To Enable Ablation Laser Technology Haz-free). The athermal laser machining process was developed to create precise features in any material, including bioabsorbable polymers, shape memory metals and other exotic alloys without producing any heat affected zone.
Norman Noble’s S.T.E.A.L.T.H. uses an ultrashort pulse laser that does not generate a heat-affected zone. It can reduce—and in some cases eliminate—costly deburring and post-processing steps, thereby increasing product quality and yield.
The company develops proprietary laser machining technologies. The heat-free laser-cutting process supports the technically advancing manufacturing requirements for customers in the medical and aerospace industries.
The system produces the narrowest lasercut kerfs in the industry. With a kerf width of 0.00045 in. in Nitinol and 0.00025 in. in bioabsorbable materials, the process provides product design teams with a capability not previously possible on a production-ready platform. The company says the narrow kerf capability combined with accelerated processing speed, makes the process a solution to most any processing need.
The company cites some benefits such as:
• Heat-free machining of bioabsorbable materials and Nitinol.
• Does not produce heat affected zones.
• Reduces or eliminates costly deburring and post-processing steps.
• Fastest laser ablation processing speed.
• Increases product quality and yield.
The ultrafast process allows machining features in materials for vascular stents with minimal variability and without the introduction of heat inherent in traditional thermal laser manufacturing. The company says its S.T.E.A.L.T.H. represents a significant advancement in the manufacturing of stents as well as other medical device applications including drug delivery systems, catheter devices, valves and needles.