WIRE NEWS WN November 2017 - Page 9

dangerous particulates into the end product. Laser stripping offers a clean alternative. Hypodermic Tubing Coatings Catheter Wiring Catheters are used to guide a medical probe or device to the required tissue. The highest demands are placed on reducing wiring size to improve maneuverability and increase functionality. Typical applications include RF ablation where the catheter carries multiple conductors, including a number of thermocouples, as well as the RF ablation signal. This fine wiring tends to be manufactured using either enamel (e.g. polyimide) coatings or bio-compatible fluoropolymers. Smaller wires, such as those used in catheters can easily be nicked when using traditional mechanical stripping methods. However, because the conductor will reflect the laser, laser wire stripping ensures a 100% nick-free strip, even with the smallest wires. The hypotube is a long metal tube with micro- engineered features along its length. It is a critical component of minimally-invasive catheters, used in conjunction with balloons and stents to open up clogged arteries. The balloon portion of the catheter is attached to the head of the hypotube. In manufacturing such devices, it is necessary to remove part of the extruded coating (such as PTFE, ETFE or nylon based compounds). Laser removal is proving popular over more traditional blade based methods primarily due to the ability to automate the process. Fine Wire Applications Small gauge single conductors are very common in medical devices, whether found in a catheter delivered device or in a cochlear implant or hearing aid.  With laser stripping, wires as small as 50 AWG and smaller can be stripped without damage to the conductor. Micro-Coaxial Ribbons Flat micro-coaxial ribbon cables are found in a great number of medical device interconnects. A classic example is that of the ultra-sound cable. High density, high frequency signals must be transmitted with the Pacemaker Electrodes most flexible cabling possible - dictating very small conductor sizes in high density micro-coax ribbons. These flexible, spring-like, electrodes pose special challenges to laser ablation due to their fluoropolymer Again, laser stripping guarantees quality results in these small cables. coatings and sensitivity to heat during processing. However, those challenges can be overcome with the selection of the proper laser and processing technique, The Future of Medical Device Manufacturing making laser stripping a viable option. The medical device manufacturing market requires very high quality processes coupled with ever more High Performance Motor Windings complex and delicate wiring systems. Laser wire stripping can meet many of the challenges of the Medical power tools, such as drills used in brain industry and will continue to be the method of choice surgery, must have the highest levels of quality and as smaller and more delicate medical devices continue reliability. Traditional mechanical brushing and abrading of enameled motor windings can introduce to evolve. . WIRE NEWS November 2017 9