Machining high-tech materials such as high-strength aluminium and titanium alloys, implant steels and superalloys like cobalt-chromium require high-performance tools. Here’s how Hymec Fertigungstechnik GmbH are dealing with all that for its medical products.
“When machining cobalt-chromium alloys, we demand very high performance from the tool due to the high material costs,” explains Tibor Veres, managing director of Hymec Fertigungstechnik GmbH. Which is why the company relies on tools from Paul Horn GmbH to machine superalloys. The precision tools from the company are also used for shaping the hexagon socket of an implant screw made of cobalt-chromium. Together with HORN Technical Consultant Thomas Wassersleben, they transformed this demanding machining task into a reliable process.
“We see ourselves as a manufacturer that is able to accomplish high-precision machining to the highest quality,” says Veres.
The company specialises in medical products, custom-made solutions and demanding low-volume production. Machining high-tech materials such as high-strength aluminium and titanium alloys, implant steels and superalloys like cobalt-chromium (CoCr) are part of Hymec’s day-to-day tasks. The range of activities includes the production of precision-engineered components and complete assemblies as well as providing technical advice from concept and design to quality audits.
Hymec has been working closely with HORN for 30 years. “The cooperation has been outstanding because they are always able to provide a cost-effective solution for our applications,” explains Veres. He attaches great importance to the selection of tools on offer and is always looking for the best tool solution for his machining tasks. He approached Wassersleben for technical support in the production of a hexagon socket in a screw made of CoCr.
The screw is an implant and forms part of an artificial knee joint. Hymec manufactures the screws in various widths across the hex flats of 2.5 mm (0.0984″), 3.5 mm (0.118″) and 5 mm (0.197″). The hexagon socket is machined to a tight tolerance so that the screw sits firmly on the hexagon key during insertion. The surface finish also needs to be of high quality as even small grooves and ridges can be a breeding ground for germs. The company produces around 5,000 screws like this every year.
Broaching is Virtually Impossible in Series Production
“Machining a hexagon in titanium is relatively easy by profile broaching. Broaching in series production in cobalt-chromium is virtually impossible, however, due to its high strength, and the tool wear is significant,” says Veres.
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