Nitrofreeze® has joined the fight against COVID-19 by cryogenically deburring the rotary valve seats used in ventilators. The Worcester, Massachusetts (USA) company is providing cryogenic deburring services for a manufacturer that has retooled its operations to machine these precision medical components. By providing our customer with a safe, reliable, and cost-efficient alternative to hand deburring, Nitrofreeze® is supporting higher-volume manufacturing for ventilators that are in high demand during the pandemic.
Burr removal is critical for proper performance. During machining, cutting tools are used to produce the net shape for a rotary valve seat. Yet machining can also stretch the material beyond the point where it can return to its original dimensions. Burrs, small raised areas, can interfere with seating and sealing. If a rotary valve seat has surface defects, a ventilator valve may not open or close properly. This can limit the medical equipment’s performance and even put patients at risk.
Manual Deburring vs. Automated Deburring
Manual deburring for ventilator components lets manufactures keep operations in-house. That may seem cost-effective but consider the true costs. Workers deburr one part a time, but that’s too slow for a company that needs to meet high demand during a pandemic. Hand trimming is also inconsistent and can result in variations from part to part. Some of these variations require rework and additional inspections. Plus, manual medical deburring has an “opportunity cost” since workers can’t perform other tasks.
Cryogenic deburring services from Nitrofreeze® are automated. The process uses very low temperatures and non-abrasive polycarbonate media. First, the parts are placed in a chamber and cooled to a cryogenic temperature so that the burrs become brittle. The parts are then impacted with polycarbonate media so that the burrs are removed quickly and efficiently. Cryogenic deburring removes only the surface imperfections, does not affect part geometry, and leaves little to no dust residue behind.
Cryogenic Deburring for Ventilator Parts
The non-abrasive media that Nitrofreeze® uses for cryogenic deburring is sized from 0.015” (smallest) to 0.060” (largest) to address application-specific challenges. Cryogenic deburring can also accommodate thin-walled parts as small as 0.025” and larger parts with greater mass. This automated deburring technique is also a great choice for components with features that are hard to reach. In rotary valve seats, for example, there’s a recessed center hole and beveled edges.
What’s the best way to remove burrs from machined ventilator parts? Watch this video to see the cryogenic deburring process in action and contact the experts at Nitrofreeze® to review your requirements. If your part is a viable candidate for cryogenic deburring, we can perform sampling to demonstrate our process. The consultation is free of charge.
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