Selecting Right CNC Machining Material for Medical Parts – Best Types of Medical Equipment Material | CNCLATHING


The spread of COVID-19 further stimulated growth in demand for medical equipment. For designers and manufacturers of medical devices, material selection is necessary to confirm the product usability and quality, selecting the right CNC machining material for medical parts and equipment to meet the requirements and standards can bring maximum economy and reliability.

Introduction to Medical Equipment, Devices and Instruments

The medical equipment can be divided into two types: disposables (bandages, gloves, blood bags, colostomy bags, catheters, syringes) and nondisposable (diagnostic equipment, surgical and dental instruments, prostheses, implants). They have different requirements for the medical equipment material. For example, the materials used to make surgical instruments need to be durable and fit in a certain environment. is capable to manufacture a broad range of custom or specific medical machined parts applied in diverse structures with medical CNC machining

Common different types of medical devices

– Treatment/Therapeutic Equipment: Infusion Pumps, Surgical Machines, Medical Lasers, Artificial Joints, etc.

– Diagnostic Equipment: Medical imaging machines, stethoscopes, dopplers, and pulse oximetry

– Durable Medical Equipment (DME): Manual or electric wheelchairs, hospital beds, walkers, crutches, canes, Traction Equipment, Pressure mattresses, Nebulizers, Patient Lifts, Stationary or portable oxygen tanks, Oxygen Concentrators Ventilators, etc.

– Life Support Equipment: Heart-lung Machines, Medical Ventilators, Dialysis Machine, etc.

– Measurement Equipment: MRI, X-ray, ICU device, etc.

– Medical Laboratory Equipment: different types of analyzers.

Types of Material for Medical Part and Device Manufacturing

The common CNC machining materials like stainless steel, is a primary material for medical parts as its high strength, good corrosion resistance and low cost. Even though titanium is not easy to process, it’s a preferred material for various medical applications, like joint replacements, heart valve housings, and surgical instruments, which provide excellent durability, corrosion resistance, and biocompatibility. On the other hand, the resin and plastic material also in large demand for some medical products machining as their lightweight and special properties.  

– Metals: titanium, stainless steel, aluminum, new alloys, etc.

– Plastics: thermoplastics, PEEK, Teflon, PVC, PC, Nylon, etc.

– Ceramics: glass, clay, and concrete, aluminum oxide, zirconium dioxide, etc.

– Composites: a combination of two or more materials 

– Rubber

– Biomaterials

Selecting the Right CNC Machining Material for Medical Parts and Devices

CNC machining services takes the advantage of precision, speed and versatility to become a typical manufacturing method for the medical industry, which materials should choose for medical and dental instruments? To choose the best material for CNC medical parts and devices should consider the loads, stresses, impact and temperature the product needs to withstand, and the part dimensions, sizes, weight and other factors. For example, the materials for manufacturing implants should meet the requirements of strict biocompatibility and sterilization. 


Best Materials for Different Medical Devices CNC Machining

1. Implants (Hip, Spine, Knee implants): Titanium alloys (Ti6Al4V), Cobalt-chrome alloys (CoCr28Mo6), Stainless steel, PEEK (Polyether ether ketone), polyethylene, polyurethane-coated silicone, etc.

2. Surgical instruments: Ti Alloy (Ti6Al4V), SUS Alloy (SUS630, SUS420J2, SUS440C), Al Alloy (A 2000 series, A 6000 series), Resin (GFRP, CFRP, PEEK)

3. Artificial Joint: Cobalt-Chromium Alloy, Ti Alloy (Ti6Al4V, Ti-15Mo-5Zr-3Al, Ti-6Al-2Nb-1Ta-0.8Mo), Resin (UHMWPE), Ceramics (Zirconia, Alumina)

4. Trauma: Ti Alloy (Ti6Al4V), SUS Alloy (SUS316L, SUS317L), Resin (PEEK)

5. Dental: Ti Alloy (Ti6Al4V), Pure Ti, Co-Cr-Mo, Resin (PMMA, Special carbon fiber), Ceramics (Zirconia, Alumina)

6. Orthopedic and cardiovascular: PEEK and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)

7. Screws, catheter reinforcements, and needle cannula: Stainless steel

8. Pre-sterilized single-use device: PVC  

9. Surgical face mask: non-woven fabric (Polypropylene or PP)

10. Sensors: piezoelectric ceramics