Improved coating technology enables new generations of Medthin™ coatings

The idea of improving thin film coatings without changing their chemistry or mechanical-physical design may sound utopian. However, Ionbond is continuously improving deposition technologies and obtaining better coating performance on medical applications, resulting in new generations of the “same” coating.

By staying within the same mechanical-physical design and chemistry, this evolved coating remains compliant with existing regulatory files, while giving customers the benefits of newer coating technologies.

Generation II - monolayers

In physical vapor deposition (PVD), Ionbond has introduced Steered Arc Technology for several coatings such as titanium nitride, zirconium nitride and aluminum titanium nitride. This technology significantly reduces the number of metal droplets compared to the Generation I coatings that are regularly offered in the market. Ionbond’s titanium nitride coating is excellent on applications with complex shapes such as knee or hip implants.

The titanium nitride coating can also be applied with chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technology, covering complex shapes such as hip balls and acetabular cups made out of CoCrMo and stainless steels with a coating of rather uniform thickness. Despite the higher deposition temperatures involved in CVD, Ionbond titanium nitride coated by CVD appear to have a similar structure and texture compared to that deposited by PVD.

Generation III - smooth coatings

Medthin™ 40, 42, 43, UBM or HIPIMS (Me, N) are third-generation medical coatings for Ionbond, deposited with new technology and under a cleaner coating process flow; this results in smooth, dense ceramic-type coatings, diamond-like carbon coatings or multilayer systems. Much less or no post-coating-processing is need. The new technology also achieves a much higher corrosion resistance and reduces ion release.

By using CVD technology, high adhesion and smooth coatings can also be obtained from aluminium oxide. This process is patented by Ionbond.