Not all K-Wire electropolishing is created equal! Next time you are researching electropolishing your k-wires make sure your manufacturer knows what they are doing. We have seen numerous cases of finished products getting ruined after they are finished due to a poor electropolish job.
Stainless Steel K-Wire Electropolishing
Stainless Steel Electropolishing is fairly straight forward. The majority of electropolishing is done on stainless steel products. As a medical device designer good questions to ask are:
1. How much material is going to be taken off during this process?
As electropolishing is a subtractive process, material is taken off of the surface during the manufacturing process. A good manufacturer should be able to keep material loss down to .0001 in tolerance.
2. Do you adhere to ASTM B912 – 02 standard?
The answer here should be yes and it should be on your drawing.
Nitinol K-Wire Electropolishing
As a medical device desinger, you should ask around, before excepting an electropolisher to do nitinol. I would stick with some of the larger electropolishing companies. Nitinol electropolishing is not a standard thing and some companies approach it differently in terms of the chemicals used and amplification. Different processes can lead to adverse surface finish effects. The only advice I can provide is
1. Do your homework and double check quotes and the process they are going to use before doing a large batch
2. Ask them to do a sample for you.
That is all I have for today, I hope this helps on your next k-wire electropolishing project.