Originally Published MPMN
MD&M MINNEAPOLIS 2009: FIRST-TIME EXHIBITORS
Company Finds Niche in Functional Coatings
On the surface, four-year-old functional coatings specialist Surface Solutions Group LLC (SSG; Chicago) may seem new to the industry. Digging deeper, however, reveals that the supplier is anything but inexperienced when it comes to coating medical products. In fact, the company maintains that each member of its team has at least 10 years of functional coating application experience under his or her belt and the team’s collective experience amounts to more than 100 years.
Launched as a spin-off from Orion Industries (Chicago), SSG provides PTFE and other types of coatings exclusively to the medical device industry in its clean-environment and highly automated facility. “Most coaters that do fluoropolymer or nonstick coatings on medical products are job shops, and we felt that medical was a growing industry,” explains George Osterhout, company president.
Working with guidewires, cannulae, hypotubes, mandrels, tubing, and a host of other medical devices, SSG applies functional coatings that impart properties such as lubricity, electrical insulation, and antimicrobial protection. Within its portfolio of products are the hydrophilic coating FluoroMed and the high-temperature, nonstick coating for electrosurgical devices dubbed Electro Bond. For wire, SSG offers PTFE, FEP, PEEK, and PEK FluoroWire coatings. In addition, Slick Sil liquid silicone rubber coating enhances lubricity of silicone parts such as catheters.
SSG’s bread and butter, however, are PTFE coatings, which can be applied with thicknesses ranging from 0.0003 to 0.0006 in. per surface. In response to customer demand, the company also supplies an expanding array of PTFE color options for identification and branding purposes. Along with the standard green color, the company’s PTFE coatings are available in blue, orange-red, white, purple, black, milky-white, and clear.
Building on its PTFE expertise, SSG most recently developed Visi Mark, a technique for making a contrasting mark on a PTFE-coated medical part without compromising the product. Prior to Visi Mark, measurement- or depth-indicating marks were made on parts using laser ablation, acid, or mechanical grinding. But these methods, according to SSG, do not offer a true high contrast and can create an indentation in the coating, which can affect surface friction. The Visi Mark, on the other hand, can create a highly visible contrasting mark that does not negatively affect surface thickness or smoothness. “We’re seeing an increased interest in our banding technology that we’ve developed because it’s a replacement for ablating or printing with an ink on a cannula,” Osterhout says.
Surface Solutions Group LLC
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