A medical engineering company produces medical injectors by using machined aluminum rods. Because the injectors’ surfaces are anodized, there is a high demand for the formation of a homogeneous structure, in order to obtain a uniform and high-quality coloring. At the same time, the material must feature a good machinability to ensure a processing with high cutting rates on automatic lathes.
Through changes in the process chain of the supplier, the company was facing difficulties in finding starting material of consistent quality. Due to fluctuations in the widths of coarse-grain heat affected zone, anodized components exhibited partially different colorings.
As part of a joint research project, the influences of the process parameters on the formation of coarse-grain heat affected zone, machinability and anodization behavior were investigated. In additon, other aluminum alloys were considered as potential material substitution. Finally, the INGWERK GmbH supported the company through research and evaluation and helped to select new suppliers.