Leader in industrial manufacturing of orthopedic implants, Marle offers one of the most comprehensive panels of production technology in the world. This year the company enhanced its internal capabilities by launching a high performance anodizing line perfectly adapted to generating color on titanium implants.
Anodizing makes it possible to color all or part of an implant, and facilitates the identification and sorting of different types and sizes of parts by caregivers: a necessity in the field of trauma for example. The addition of color also enables differentiation between brands and allows for more variety in implant design.
Color is obtained by an electrolytic process, with no addition of material.
A high-performance process
The operation begins with an acid bath treatment, which removes the layer of titanium oxide naturally formed on the surface of the implants. Thanks to an innovative adjuvant, the acid-based treatment removes a very thin layer of titanium oxide from the surface of the implant, up to 5 microns. This performance enables a dimensional control of finished parts significantly higher than other processes, which remove layers of up to 40 microns. Its implementation required specific team training, in terms of safety and waste management.
Electrolytic anodizing then generates a titanium oxide layer measuring 5 to 10 nanometers on the surface of the implant. The grain orientation gives the desired colors, by reflection of light.
The line, installed in early 2015, currently makes it possible to obtain 21 different colors and apply up to two colors per implant.
The treatment ensures high color stability over time, excellent reproducibility of the process and perfect fidelity of the shades obtained. It particularly benefits from an excellent preparation of the implants during polishing, for which Marle is a well-known specialist.
More complete production capacities, from forging to coating, to clean-room packaging
In-house anodizing integration now allows our teams to ensure the complete production of colored implants from forging to coating, without resorting to subcontracting: a major advantage for health safety, implant traceability and reduced lead times.