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Gas Tungsten Arc Welding in Medical Device Manufacturing

by Apr 2, 2020Welding

Gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is an ideal choice for the manufacturing of medical device components, as GTAW is the highest-purity form of welding, known for its refinement, repeatability and accuracy. Those are all beneficial attributes in the process of medical device manufacturing, where precision is essential.

Gas tungsten arc welding is a complex, manual method that necessitates a top skillset and also a passion for continuously improving those skills.

“Perfecting gas tungsten arc welding requires a lot of dexterity and mobility from a skilled welder. There are human aspects of high-purity welding that machines have yet to achieve,” says Brian Thessen, a journeyman GTAW welder at Axenics. “Machines cannot think like we do.”

GTAW and medical devices

Medical diagnostic equipment production can include the need for tiny weldments on gas and chemical process control solutions and process piping. Picture the point of a sewing needle, and that will give you an idea of how small gas tungsten arc weldments get. GTAW results in the permanent fusing of two pieces of metal, and for Axenics’ medical device customers, that is generally stainless steel because of its corrosion-resistance and its ability to maintain its structure even after long-term exposure to different environments.

Transportation systems for gases and chemicals also need to be free from contaminants, and must be operating at the optimum level to ensure safe, reliable dispensing. That’s why Axenics’ team of welders is consistently acquiring new skills to weld smaller, cleaner and with the utmost precision.

When required, GTAW happens in a Class 100 cleanroom at Axenics’ metals facility. High-purity argon is the shielding gas of choice at Axenics, as opposed to a combination of gases that do not have the same degree of purity. Pre-sharpened, pure tungsten – known for its rigidity and high-temperature resistance – allows Axenics’ welders to accomplish pristine, precise weldments.

Safety and cleanliness before and after GTAW

Inspection is an important aspect of delivering clean and pure components to original equipment manufacturers. Raw materials, such as stainless steel tubes, are examined for fissures and other potential flaws before the welding process begins.

Weldments get thoroughly tested for leaks or any defects via hydrostatic testing before components are delivered to customers to ensure 100% reliability before being added to an existing or new production.

Advancing technology leads to the demand for increasingly challenging weldments for medical device components. That’s why Axenics’ welding team is always evolving and adding abilities

“Even with a formal education and field experience, there is always something more to learn and skills to improve,” says Axenics’ journeyman welder Tom Hammer. “TIG welding is one of our specialties, and we won’t let our sterling reputation with our customers be tarnished with sub-par work.”

Discover how GTAW can benefit your medical device manufacturing and the existing or expanding production of medical devices.

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