Defective Titanium Presents Problem for Devicemakers

September 4, 2009
Makers of titanium orthopedic implants are turning into detectives as they investigate the causes and signals of a defect in some titanium imported from one producer in China.

The undetectable defect is known as alloy segregation, which means the metals weren’t melded homogenously, G&S Titanium, an importer-distributor, said. If the alloy isn’t melded properly, the metals remain unmixed, which can weaken the material.

The problem first came to light a few months ago when one of G&S’ customers, a devicemaker, couldn’t get the titanium to process through a machine used to manufacture devices, G&S CEO Roger Geiser said.
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