The Sonorus 1G accommodates shot weights from 0.05 g to 1.5 g, and is being used across the world by various OEMs in the medical and other industry sectors. The proprietary nature of many of the applications of the technology are such that precise case studies are not possible, but it is possible to give some details of recent OEM projects and the materials used and dimensions achieved.
Case Study 1
The manufacture of a cap with a filter for an ear protection device made from raw polyamide 12 (PA12). In this application, the ultrasonic moulding process successfully manufactured a part weighing 0.02 g, with a 0.5 mm wall thickness, and outside diameter of 4.4 mm and an internal diameter of 2.9 mm. Of enormous interest with this example was that the part — with a membrane overmoulding — was achieved in one operation. This proved impossible to achieve using a conventional micro injection moulding process, the alternative to Ultrasion’s ultrasonic moulding process being to mould the part using one process, and then to glue the membrane in a secondary process. The manufacturer reported a 300% increase in productivity using the Ultrasion technology.
Case Study 2
Ultrasonic moulding was successfully used in the production of an eye retina surgery tip made from raw polypropylene. The final part weighed 0.1 g, had an internal diameter of 0.6 mm with a 0.17 mm wall thickness, and a wall thickness at the tip of 0.1 mm. The tool for this application used two extremely small core pins sitting head to head, which would have broken using the high pressures of conventional micro injection mouding.
Case Study 3
A healthcare project for a medical device using coloured polypropylene. This tissue management application required a particularly difficult to manufacture tip. By using the Ultrasion technology, this OEM managed to produce a tip that was 43 mm long, weighing 0.22 g, with wall thicknesses of 0.075 mm, and with an outside diameter of 0.35 mm and an inside diameter of 0.2 mm. When working on this project, the Sonorus 1G generated flashes at the top of the tip due to a slight mould misalignment. The company has been unable to measure such flashes precisely, but they are at least as thin as 0.003 mm along 3 mm. The customer was astonished as they felt that PP was not supposed to flash at such thicknesses, and this led to the development of parts that it had previously thought impossible to manufacture.