Arcam sees a bright future for its EBM® process to produce implants
August 30, 2011
Arcam AB was founded in Gothenburg in 1997 to develop applications for its Additive Manufacturing technology to produce fully dense metal parts from metal powders using a powerful electron beam melting process (EBM®). The company today has around 60 installations around the world, predominantly used to produce aerospace and medical implant components. “Our customers in Europe have, since 2007, produced and implanted more than 10,000 CE-certified advanced orthopaedic implants with our technology,” says Magnus René, CEO of Arcam. He also reported that the FDA in the USA recently gave approval for the use of Arcam’s EBM® technology for implant manufacturing for the large and important U.S. market.
The (EBM®) process developed by Arcam is carried out in a vacuum chamber with the Additive Manufacturing machine building up components layer by layer from metal powders melted with a powerful electron beam gun. The process is said to be very fast and material properties are comparable to wrought metal. The vacuum ensures very high purity of the material, which is imperative in implant manufacture. One of the key benefits of the EBM® machines’ is their ability to manufacture implants with integrated lattice surfaces which enhance osseointegration, as well as their ability to quickly manufacture customised implants derived from CT scan data.
The company offers a range of EBM® machines plus metal powders and support to its customers. The titanium alloy and CoCrMo powders are said to be from a validated supply chain with full traceability of every powder batch delivered. Arcam has also developed and introduced its own Titanium Grade 2 powder having superior mechanical properties to those specified for Titanium Grade 2 in ASTM F67, and which is helping customers to expand the range of components for the medical implant sector.
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