Bonding in medical technology


Adhesive bonding as an innovative joining process is used in almost all areas of industrial production. In medical technology, many modern instruments can only be manufactured using bonding as the connection technique. The main difficulty is the selection of suitable adhesives. They must be sterilizable and medically approved and they must have sufficient adhesion to the joint partners for the application. In this project, a procedure is being developed to specifically find suitable adhesives for material pairings and requirements that are defined by the companies involved.

Adhesive bonding as an innovative joining process is used in almost all areas of industrial production today. It is used in automobile and commercial vehicle construction, aviation, the electronics industry and mechanical engineering. In the near future, adhesive bonding will also be increasingly used as a joining method in other areas such as medical technology.

In Baden-Württemberg, almost all medium-sized or small companies in the greater Tuttlingen area manufacture instruments for medical technology. The rapid further development of the surgical procedures requires a constant reorientation of the development of the instruments to the requirements of the market. The joining methods soldering or welding used almost exclusively in medical technology tool making lead to higher production costs than adhesive bonding. Adhesive bonding technology is often used purely empirically and without in-depth knowledge of the selection of suitable adhesives and surface preparation processes. It is therefore to be expected that qualified bonding technology will immediately find its way into the production know-how of medium-sized companies due to the improved product properties and reduced production costs.

With the present joint project, soldering and welding, which have been customary for medical technology tools, are to be replaced by adhesive technology as a new process on the one hand, and the adhesive technology currently used in medical technology instruments is to be qualified on the other. The aim of the project is to qualify the adhesive technology through systematic investigations and tests using previously unused adhesives to such an extent that safe and reliable connections are created that meet the diverse specific requirements of medical instruments.

Adhesive bonding technology as a connection method for medical technology tools made of metallic and non-metallic components is only used empirically.
In general, there is a lack of reliable data with regard to:
- optimal constructive design of the connection
- Selection of suitable adhesives
- Effect of sterilization and cleaning processes on the strength and durability of the bonded joints (resistance tests).

Significant progress is to be made compared to the state of the art and a technology for medical technology is to be developed that leads to improved product properties and reduced production costs. The project concept includes the development of requirement profiles, laboratory and practical tests in cooperation with manufacturers and user companies (SMEs) and consistently aims to develop efficient, industry-relevant solutions using the know-how available at the NMI.

01.03.2011 - 28.02.2013