Development direction of Nitinol
Nitinol is an extraordinary material with superelasticity and shape memory properties. It contains 55% nickel and 45% titanium, and is an excellent material for manufacturing medical implants. The three major applications of Nitinol medical wire are vascular guide wires, diagnostic guide wires and dental arch wires. Nitinol has biocompatibility and excellent properties, so many applications that used stainless steel in the past have been replaced by Nitinol. Thousands of tons of nickel-nickel-nickel alloys and stainless steel medical wires are produced every year. They are used in life-changing solutions and saving lives. By 2020, the global guide wire market is expected to reach 21.9 billion Dollar.
In the next 6 years, the increasing prevalence of target diseases and the growing base of the elderly will increase the demand for guide wires. The guide wire is a very thin flexible medical wire that is inserted into the body to guide catheter devices, such as catheters, central venous catheters or feeding tubes. Although the guide wire was previously used for coronary artery surgery, it has now become an integral part of more and more medical procedures through its steady increase in usage and expansion into more medical professional fields. Compared with stainless steel wire, the superelasticity of nickel-titanium alloy wire is 16 times higher and can transform 8% strain, while stainless steel wire can only deviate by about 0.5% strain before the initial shape is deformed. For example, take a paperclip made of nickel-titanium alloy and insert it into a 90° angle, and it will spring back to its original shape. The nickel-titanium alloy wire has excellent “propelling ability”, good bending resistance, and can maintain its Flatness. These are the precious properties of the guide wire.
In the past 10 years, the annual growth rate of nickel-titanium alloy production has reached 10%, and there will be opportunities for continued growth in the future, including medical and non-medical fields. Stents that can adapt to large strains Nitinol has an excellent ability to adapt to strains, and one of the key application areas of Nitinol alloys with the human body is the stent.
Nitinol stents can be made at one temperature and folded into smaller Nitinol vascular stents at another temperature. They are made of a gun drill rod, processed according to precise size requirements, and then formed by laser cutting. The stent tube used to treat aneurysms is generally 25.4 mm (1 inch) in diameter and can be “compressed” to a diameter of only 6 mm to 7 mm (1/4 inch), and then inserted into the delivery device tube and the patient’s aorta. The stent will expand on its own and form its original shape, allowing the doctor to repair the aneurysm.