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Customised clean room pass-through oven solves heat treating challenge for arterial stents

Customised clean room pass-through oven solves heat treating challenge for arterial stents  Carbolite, the UK's largest manufacturer of standard laboratory and bespoke industrial ovens, has played a key role in helping to create a customised manufacturing solution for a leading producer of innovative arterial stents used by clinicians to treat cardiovascular disease. 

The stent manufacturer approached Carbolite to create a class 10,000 clean room oven solution because it was looking for a customised design to meet its precise production requirements. 

Although the stents only require heat treating to a maximum of 400°C the dimensions and temperature uniformity specifications of the oven posed a major technical challenge.  The solution calls for a chamber nearly a metre and a half deep to be heated with a stability of better than ±1°C under steady state conditions coupled with temperature uniformity better than ±5°C.  To ensure good temperature uniformity the oven is divided into three separately controlled zones. The main program controller is digitally linked to two slave controllers that automatically track the program set in the main controller. 

A digital time temperature program controller manages the temperature of the oven and is capable of storing up to 20 programs each with up to 16 segments. A program segment relay is fitted that can be set to sound an audible alarm at the end of the program.

The oven employs forced air circulation carefully positioned to give optimum uniformity of the zones. 

A specially designed load management system is also a key requirement because the stent manufacturer needs to quickly and easily load the untreated arterial stents into the chamber through the ‘front door' and unload the medical devices through the opposite door within a clean room environment.

 Carbolite's engineering team designed and built a custom loading system which allows the stents to be loaded onto mandrels that could easily be transported straight from a carrier on a trolley into the oven chamber ready for the heat treatment process. 

The loading system features an adjustable support frame which holds 30 shafts up to 10mm diameter and 1400mm in length.  

For more information on the Carbolite range of ovens contact Carbolite by visiting www.carbolite.com or call +44(0)1433 620011


 

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