Rubies, sapphires and spinels for medical implants and surgical instruments
As a Swiss leader in the machining of synthetic jewels for the watchmaking field, having obtained both ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certifications we are today applying this expertise to the manufacturing of precision jewel components for use in the MedTech industry.
Characteristics of synthetic rubies and sapphires
Synthetic ruby and sapphire are single aluminum oxide crystals, the latter being practically pure (+99.99% Al2O3).
The same qualities that make these materials ideal for the production of watch components also make them highly suitable for use in the MedTech sector.
Ruby is an excellent electrical insulator, and as such is the ideal material for invasive medical devices that generate electrical impulses. Wear resistance and chemical inertness are two other characteristics that make rubies suitable for implantable medical devices. Pierhor-Gasser use single-crystal ruby instead of multi-crystal (ceramic) ruby, which ensures there is no cracking or degradation.
Other properties of rubies and synthetic sapphires which make them suitable for use in medical technologies are:
- High hardness and mechanical resistance (from 1’200 to 2’000 Vickers)
- Good thermal conductivity
- Very low friction coefficient
- Chemically inert
- Excellent wear resistance, they do not disintegrate or crack over time
- Excellent electrical insulator
Innovative industrial processes adapted for the medical implants
Pierhor-Gasser has developed its own custom-built machines and proprietary production processes which allow us to achieve accuracies within 2μm of hole diameter and below 5µm of bore depth.
To ensure repeatability and reliability of production, in collaboration with the Acrotec Group R&D department at Pierhor-Gasser we have developed a femtolaser boring innovative process which achieves incomparable quality of surface finish and a precision close to one μm.