Sandvik is best known for its industry-leading stainless steel, particularly for use in the mining and construction industries that the company has been serving since the 1860s. Following decades of expansion and strategic acquisitions, Sandvik has been sharing its metallurgy and process development expertise for an increasing number of applications. The introduction of the EXERA® brand in 2016 was the beginning of a new focus on medical device components that are custom made to transmit, sense, or stimulate within the human body.
Working with more than 200 metals and metal alloys, as well as specialising in choosing the best materials and configurations for any given application, EXERA® wire-based components can be customised for anything from vascular therapy to biosensing and neurostimulation. Common applications are cochlear implants, pacemaker leads, continuous glucose monitors, tremor control for people with Parkinson’s or epilepsy, catheters, and guidewires.
Innovative design is crucial in an era of continual development, and Sandvik has worked with customers to develop wire components that are used for remote monitoring devices that can be integrated with machine learning and artificial intelligence software.
Sandvik develops close customer partnerships by offering made-to-order, build-to-print solutions, setting them apart from other suppliers. Extensive experience in material properties not only allows Sandvik to offer customers expert advice on the component’s functionality and best manufacturing options to reach their end goal, but also guarantees quality unmatched by the competition.
Sandvik has been manufacturing fine-wire components since 1997 when the company acquired Kanthal to utilise its expertise in wire drawing. Originally focusing on wire for hard disc drives and other electronic products, Sandvik discovered new potential when it was approached by a pacemaker lead manufacturer looking for the best in metallurgy.
Customers can choose from a variety of materials, sizes, surface treatments and product forms. The Sandvik range includes stainless steels (such as EXERA® 12R10 medical wire), carbon steel (such as EXERA® 20AP medical wire), precious metals (including platinum, pure gold and silver), cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloys (such as EXERA® F562 medical wire), sensor alloys (constantan and copper) and Kanthal® resistance alloys (such as Nikrothal® 80 and Cuprothal® 49). EXERA® medical wire, ribbon, multi-filar and stranded cables are precisely cut to the customer’s requested length and can be delivered in a variety of forms, such as spools, braider bobbins, straightened lengths or coils.
In addition to expertise in metal materials, Sandvik has a team dedicated to leading the industry in wire coating methods. Choosing the right coating for bonding or insulation that is biocompatible and fit for purpose is a common stumbling block for manufacturers, so many turn to Sandvik.
The company offers base polymer insulation and PTFE coatings that can withstand temperatures up to 240°C, as well as solvent or heat-activated bond coatings for free-standing coils or joining wires. The coatings can also be pigmented for identification purposes. Sandvik offers stripping services to remove the polymer coating from the ends of the wire.
The EXERA® brand has been making waves and has changed the lives of many across the globe who rely on their medical devices to live a healthy life. For more information about EXERA® fine medical wire, including a full list of materials or to contact Sandvik about developing a medical field device, visit their website or download the whitepaper below.