The Different Spring Types Used for Medical Equipment
There is great importance in the spring types used for medical equipment. They serve different purposes to ensure these medical devices are working properly and safely. Read more for details.
Did you know there are different spring types used for medical equipment? There most certainly are!
These springs are used in designing medical devices, as such, they indirectly help to promote healthy living.
We’ll be taking a look at some of these springs, their importance, and how to choose the right spring material for medical applications.
What are Springs?
Springs are elastic devices that return to their former position after being stretched and release. These devices store mechanical energy and their design is quite simple.
Springs are also useful devices given that they are put into a wide range of applications in various industries. One of such industry is the medical industry.
Generally, it can be said that devices that rely on a mechanism will need to use a spring component.
Importance of Springs in Medical Equipment
Springs have several uses in medical equipment and some of these are:
Springs are employed in the creation of diagnostic and monitoring devices. They are also used to design syringes, as well as, pill dispensers.
That being said, these elastic devices are used in noninvasive applications.
Surgical and Nonsurgical Components:
Springs used in either of these have to meet certain specifications and that includes having micro-dimensions for certain components. These components could be around 0.1 to 0.8 millimeters or around 0.03 millimeters in wire size.
Consequently, there is a need to use precision when designing springs specially meant for medical devices.
Types of Springs Used in Medical Devices
Three major types of springs are used in medical equipment: compression, extension, and torsion spring.
They differ in their operation and the purpose they serve in different medical devices.
Here’s a detailed outline of each spring.
Compression springs are used in medical applications that require squeezing action such as surgical stapler.
On the other hand, compression springs and other springs are classified based on the application of the load. In this case, the compression spring’s load is made to perform upon the compression of force.
The spring used in compressive loads can be likened to shock absorbers, retractable pens, and spring mattresses.
Tension springs are also known as extension springs. They attract two components together when they have been pulled apart.
Also, tension springs are manufactured to work with a tensile load and the pulling action gives return force to the pulled components.
The application of extension springs is evident in medical devices such as stretchers, surgical lights, and a range of handheld devices.
Torsion springs are designed to work with torque such as twisting action or rotational movement. In this case, these springs are useful in providing rotational movement.
They are also used when there is a need for bending action.
Some medical applications of torsion springs are evident in MRI devices and x-ray machines.
Springs that are designed with small dimensions are referred to as microcoil springs. These springs are also used in medical devices and those that are meant to enter the human body.
Microcoil springs can have a wire size of 0.03 mm or between 0.1 to 0.8 mm.
Long Coiled Springs:
Long coiled springs are designed to be used for guide wires.
It’s also needful for these springs to be clean, hence, a rigorous cleaning process is often used in their production process to eliminate contaminants.
Requirements for Springs Used in Medical Devices
Given that these springs will be used in the health industry, high-level precision has to be employed in their design. If not, it could result in grave consequences since the tools they are designed with could malfunction thereby posing problems to the patient.
Accordingly, for components to be reliable and durable, the right spring has to be used.
One way to choose the right spring is to determine the spring’s material.
Springs used for medical devices have to be strong and also hygienic for the medical device it will be used in. Accordingly, stainless steel alloys are one of the most commonly used.
A grade of stainless steel which is the Stainless Steel 316 has found more use cases due to a number of reasons.
First off, this grade is clean and it is 90% non-magnetic. As such, it is used in auto-injector syringes, inhalers as well as other medical applications.
Stainless Steel 316 has also become prevalent in biomedical implants and the same goes for titanium-aluminum alloy known Ti6Al4V.
And in cases where there is a need for micro-spring technology, platinum-iridium and platinum-tungsten are alloys commonly used.
These materials are notable for their cleanliness and strength.
Other Stainless Steel Alloys:
Aside from stainless steel, there are other materials that are used in the design of medical devices.
Some of these include alloys such as Elgiloy and Hastelloy.
These alloys can be used in springs that will serve medical applications including pacemakers, stents, orthopedic cables, surgical clips, and so much more.
Elgiloy, for instance, consists of metals including cobalt, molybdenum, nickel, chromium, and iron. This material is non-magnetic, however, it has characteristics such as very high fatigue strength and great bio-compatibility.
Contrastingly, Hastelloy C-22 is a nickel-based alloy that has a high temperature. This alloy also has great characteristics that make it ideal for use in springs meant for medical devices.
Each alloy is used in an assortment of medical devices and applications such as stents, pacemakers, surgical clips, and orthopedic cables to name a few.
Compression, tension, and torsion springs are the different spring types used for medical equipment. These springs serve different purposes, which have promoted their widespread use in medical devices.
Nonetheless, the right spring material has to be chosen to ensure that the spring is safe for use and also durable.
It’ll be clean enough not to contaminate the devices it will be designed with, and strong enough not to lead to equipment failure.
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