Deburring Polypropylene Medical Parts: A Tough Job Made Easy

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        Polypropylene is an exceptionally hard plastic with a high tolerance to heat. Due to these properties, polypropylene is a popular material within the medical equipment industry. Its robustness allows it to withstand the high temperature steam applied in an autoclave, a sterilization machine used in settings in which contamination can be costly. This, in combination with the plastic’s extraordinary customization capabilities, has resulted in a gradual shift from the use of metal to polypropylene equipment in the medical field.
Polypropylene’s biggest strengths also happen to give way for one of its most frustrating manufacturing weaknesses. Due to its high density, the creation of burrs during the machining of this material is unavoidable. Additionally, its high level of customization can lead to more difficult contours and often more points of machining, resulting not only in more burrs, but also burrs which are harder to remove.

Cryogenic deburring is an excellent solution to removing burrs from parts made of this material. In machining applications such as the polypropylene surgical caddy pictured above, numerous holes and grooves are cut and drilled into the part. The part’s complex geometry will yield unwanted burrs that will require removal. The traditional method of burr removal is to manually remove each burr with a deburring tool by hand. This process can take anywhere from ten minutes to an hour for each part, equating to thousands of dollars in labor costs for each batch. Though the exact time varies depending on the size of the parts, Nitrofreeze Cryogenic Deburring can deburr at a minimum rate of three parts every fifteen minutes, drastically reducing both time and cost.
For more information or a free consultation on cryogenic deburring of polypropylene parts, contact Ryan Taylor at (508)459-7447 or rtaylor@nitrofreeze.com.