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Development of a Ceramic Surgical Blade


During the course of a medical operation, a steel blade will quickly become 'surgically' blunt and need to be changed. A ceramic blade will perform better than a steel cutting edge due to its high wear resistance, high hardness and low coefficient of friction when compared to steel. For medical applications, these features help the surgeon perform more efficiently and help reduce patient trauma. Although ceramic scalpel blades are currently available, the major limitation to their wider implementation is their relatively high cost of manufacture. This is due to the intricate diamond machining operation which accounts for approximately 75% of the cost. It is envisaged that novel ultrasonic machining may replace diamond machining, thus making the selling price of a ceramic scalpel similar to that of a steel scalpel. The objectives of this project are to design and manufacture a low cost ceramic blade, and to use the ceramic machining technology developed to produce a demonstrator, such as a scalpel. This technology will subsequently be exploited by the project partners and transferred to other relevant industry sectors, where advanced cutting blade technology is required.

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EAW - Exploratory awards


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Weston Road, Crewe Hall

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