Fine Wire Welding
Laser welding, Plasma welding and TIG welding systems are used by Custom Wire Technologies to provide entire assemblies. Complete product assemblage and production management can simplify your supply chain as well as reduce your total turnaround times. We have 20 years of experience welding medical wire components made of a wide variety of materials including titanium, stainless steel, and nitinol. We are accustomed to precision tolerances and the high-quality standards needed for medical wire welding.
Building on our core focus, Custom Wire Technologies offers these integrated services to give your customers the parts they need and precisely when they need them:
- Laser Welding
- Plasma Welding
- TIG Welding
- Entire Assemblies
- Short Turnaround Times
- Less Complications
Contract Welding Services
For your critical medical device needs, Custom Wire employs a fluid automation system to fulfill your contract welding needs.
For more details about our welding services, visit our Fine Wire Welding site.
Laser welding is a high energy density beam process, where energy is targeted directly on the workpiece. The laser power supply is capable of delivering a “pulse” of light that has accurate and repeatable energy and duration. When the “pulse” of laser energy is focused into a small spot, the energy density becomes large.The light is absorbed by the metal (workpiece) that contracts the focus of the beam (like a keyhold effect), which drills into the metal to vaporize and melt some of it. The process takes only milliseconds, but as the pulse ends, the liquified metal flows back in and solidifies, creating a “weld spot”.
As shown near the end of this video, laser welding has the ability to fire many pulses per second. Moving the workpiece creates a series of individual “spot welds”. By overlapping these spot welds, you achieve a welded “seam” weld that can be structural and/or hermetic.
- Excellent metallurgical quality in resultant weld
- Minimal heat affected zones in welds created
- Ability to weld smaller, thinner components
- Deep and narrow welds can be done
- Absence of distortion in welded areas
- Many dissimilar metals can be welded without filler materials being added
- Simplified single station tooling makes laser welding a cost-effective joining solution
Engineering Advantages of Laser Welding
Laser welding offers precision micro fine welding of tubing and fine or ultra-fine wires that are used in a wide range of medical components and surgical instrumentations, including catheter subassemblies, defibrillation leads, and stents. The primary advantage of the laser welding process is the allowance for precision joining of components with very little heat input to the welded parts. Because laser welding generates less heat than other conventional welding processes, there is less distortion, which results in higher accuracy and quality.
Plasma is a gas that, when heated to an extremely high temperature, becomes ionized, making it electrically conductive. The plasma welding process uses a charged plasma to transfer an electric arc to the workpiece. The intense heat of the arc melts the two metals to be joined, fusing them together.
The torch used in plasma welding houses a Tungsten electrode inside a copper nozzle and has a small opening at the tip. When a pilot arc is created between the electrode and the nozzle tip, the plasma gas and resultant arc are forced through the narrow opening, which delivers a highly intense heat to a very small area, producing exceptionally high quality welds.
Engineering Advantages of Plasma Welding
Plasma micro wire welding offers many benefits based on the short weld duration – generally .005 to .01 seconds. The extremely brief duration makes welds possible for spot welding of wires, needles and micro fine components. Arc energy in plasma welding can reach three times that of TIG welding, thus resulting in less weld distortions and smaller welds with higher welding speeds. Other notable advantages include:
- Electrode is protected, which increases the number of successful welds before the electrode becomes contaminated.
- The arc standoff distance is less critical than TIG welding
- The arc is more stable and sitffer, which reduces arc wander
- For specific applications, higher weld speeds are possible with plasma welding
- Reduced heat input to the parts
- Equally suitable for manual and automatic applications
TIG welding is an arc welding process in which fusion is produced between a tungsten electrode and the workpiece by heating an electric arc while an inert gas forms around the weld area to prevent oxidation. No flux is used.
Engineering Advantages of TIG Welding
- Precision micro-TIG welding
- No arc wander at low amperages
- TIG arc shape is advantageous for specific weld joints and parts
- TIG electrode can be extended to improve accessibility of welding joints
- Soft start of TIG arc will not damage small or delicate parts; offers beneftis for specific applications
- Accurate repeatable welds
- Excellent gas shielding for cleaner welds
- Manual or automatic welding
- Lower costs