X-medics’ standard sphere tolerance is +/- 0.005 mm (AFMBA grade 50) that has been optimized for automated processing and general tolerance requirements when inserted into PEEK and other medical grade materials. For some sphere diameters we also offer a lower (+/- 0.02 mm) tolerance that can offered at a slightly lower cost than our standard tolerance.
> More about sphere tolerances.
Surgical tantalum is available in two material forms – R05200 (electron beam / vacuum arc melted) and R05400 (sintered). Ta R05200 and Ta R05400 are equally suitable for surgery and offer almost similar mechanical and chemical characteristics.
> Read more about tantalum specification.
X-medics’ tantalum spheres are available as either standard polished or super polished. The standard polished spheres undergo a single polishing step during sphere processing and is is a cost optimized option that is suitable for most applications. The super polished spheres undergo several polishing steps and has been developed as a high-end option to be used in critical automated processes.
> Read more about surface finish.
ASTM F86 Cleaning and Passivation
ASTM F86 Cleaning and Passivation is a standard cleaning procedure to remove particles and process residues from the tantalum surface. As ASTM F86 is a cost efficient cleaning method it is specified by 90 percent of X-medics’ customers. In some cases ASTM F86 treatment is not suitable, as the the passivation may increase the thickness of natural occurring tantalum oxide layer on the metal surface. The thicker tantalum oxide layer may tend to build up static electricity and increase the surface roughness (friction) of the spheres.
> Read more about ASTM F86 cleaning and passivation