Diamond is one of the hardest substances known to man. That hardness helps to make household products, for example, both stronger and more durable. The manufacturing techniques used to make these products are becoming more prevalent. Diamond-like carbon (DLC), one such manufacturing technique, has the potential to vastly change such fields as construction to medicine. Following are a few methods that medical manufacturers use to create stronger, more durable and more useful products.
DLC is a key component in strengthening surgical blades used in medicine. The diamond’s hardness, combined with the metals of the blade, create a more durable product capable of cutting many different structures. DLC is also bio-compatible, which enables DLC-created medical instruments to be used in procedures such as brachytherapy. Brachytherapy, an advanced cancer treatment, allows therapists to administer doses of radiation treatments close to the cancer with a managed radiation source from within the body, specifically targeting tumors or growths with less chance of destroying healthy, nearby structures.
A sputter deposition system can coat a piece of plastic using DLC techniques to make the plastic more durable. More durable plastics provide medical device makers more useful products, from joint replacement to artificial knees. DLC enables plastic medical devices such as a prosthetic to withstand longer periods of use, meaning fewer invasive surgeries for the patient in the long-term. Physicians use coronary artery stints manufactured with DLC to reduce thrombosis incidence in patients. Artificial hearts may someday be constructed from devices made with DLC techniques.
TLC also finds applications outside the doctor’s office, though still helping people through medicine and medical technology. Razor blades used in wet shaving are coated using DLC to prevent abrasion, especially helpful for those with sensitive skin. The hard disks that store medical information are coated with DLC to improve durability, thus ensuring that records require fewer emergency recovery operations due to hardware failure.
You will also find DLC technology at work in eye glass wear, specifically in glasses that use anti-scratch technology.
We have come a long way in manufacturing when we consider that the same technology that powers a NASCAR can be used in the body. DLC has a high ta-C value, making it extremely useful as an insulator for electrical appliances.
Denton Vacuum, LLC sells plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition systems for usage in the manufacture of medical and high-performance devices.