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A Method for Machining Metallic Foam
Category(s):
For Information, Contact:
Jay Bjerke
Commercialization Manager, Engineering
515-294-4740
licensing@iastate.edu
Web Published:
5/8/2015
ISURF #
3497
Summary:
ISU researchers have developed a process for cutting metallic foam that eliminates smearing while still allowing custom shapes to be created.

Development Stage:
The utility of the method has been demonstrated using trabecular metal and a CAD model of a human femur fracture segment, and Iowa State University is seeking partners interested in commercializing this technology.

Description:
The present invention relates to a process of cutting metallic foams that eliminates the problem of smeared surfaces. When a traditional machining approach is used, the surface of the material smears, causing the surface pores of the foam to close.  This invention is the first method capable of machining foams using conventional machining processes, rather than non traditional methods such as electrical discharge machining (EDM). EDM is capable of cutting the material without smearing, but is not an easily customizable process. Moreover, recent research has shown that EDM has a detrimental effect on the material properties, in particular, a reduction in porosity. Initial testing of this newly invented process indicates that the porosity of the TM may not be affected using the new approach. This process could enable the creation of custom shaped TM implants of virtually any free-form geometry, using a CT scan derived CAD model of the desired geometry.

Advantage:
• Eliminates smeared surfaces
• Easily customizable
• Does not appear to affect metal porosity
• Can be used with conventional machining techniques
Application:
Machining metallic foams like trabecular metal for applications such as bone implants.

Patent Information:
*To see the full version of the patent(s), follow the link below, then click on "Images" button.
Country Serial No. Patent No. Issued Date
United States 12/361,858 9,795,708* 10/24/2017


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