Coating Technology that Makes a Difference
At Merit Medical, we understand that smooth medical coatings with consistent characteristics and advanced capabilities contribute directly to more successful medical outcomes. And we’ve been working for more than 20 years to develop and refine a world renowned spool-to-spool continuous precoating process that enables us to deliver hypotube shafts, guide wire and needle components, and coated mandrels that offer increased precision and superior performance.
The continuous spool-to-spool precoating process
With Merit’s advanced spool-to-spool precoating process, long, continuous lengths of uncoated tubes and wires are taken from one spool, fed through an immersive coating and curing process, and then wound back onto a second spool. This method provides a number of important advantages over other coating methods.
Continuous means consistent
Applying coatings to long, continuous lengths of wires or tubes—before they are cut, coiled, or finished—makes it possible to achieve higher levels of consistency and precision. With this process, all of the individual components cut and finished from the same spool of coated tube or wire will share exactly the same characteristics and avoid the variations that can occur when components are sprayed or dipped after they are cut.
This continuous process also eliminates the irregularities and cracking that can occur when guide wires are coated after they are coiled.
Thin layers for maximum flexibility
The Merit continuous coating process applies coatings in thin precise layers. This typically includes a primer layer, followed by different combinations of smooth, hard, tough, or flexible topcoats. This layered approach makes it possible to create coated tubes or wires with a wide range of characteristics and capabilities to meet a wide range of medical requirements.
Low impact curing
Other coating processes can affect the properties and characteristics of certain base materials. Merit uses a proprietary curing process that has a minimal impact on the base materials, so you can take full advantage of their original strength and flexibility.
Unlimited coating options
The Merit coating process makes it possible to apply combinations of coatings to a wide variety of materials and diameters. This includes the ability to coat tubes and wires made from stainless steel, Nitinol, platinum, Pt/Ir, copper, tungsten, and other materials.
After your hypotube, needle, guide wire, or mandrel components are coated to your exact specifications, Merit can complete the process with some of the industry’s most advanced finishing options. Thanks to significant investments in the very latest laser cutting and laser ablation technologies, this includes cleaner, more precise, and more consistent custom cuts and finishes on both coated and uncoated surfaces.
The advantages of the Merit coating process
Merit’s continuous spool-to-spool precoating process can offer you an impressive list of benefits and advantages:
- Increased precision and consistency, since coatings are applied before tubes and wires are cut, coiled, or finished.
- Maximum flexibility with the ability to apply different combinations of coatings in thin, precise layers to achieve different characteristics and meet exact specifications
- Improved performance with a curing process that has a minimal impact on the original properties of the base material
- Unlimited options with the ability to apply different combinations of coatings to a wide range of materials and diameters and then take advantage of advanced laser cutting and finishing options.