Laser Wire Stripping

Braided cable stripping

Wire Stripping

Resonetics offers laser stripping services for the cardiac rhythm management (CRM), neurological, and radio frequency (RF)-ablation markets. Two of the needs laser stripping fulfills in these markets are:

  • Exposing the underlying metal surface of a coated wire for further joining steps
  • Creating electrodes used for sensing or precise vascular or lesion ablation

When success or failure can be a heartbeat away, it's easy to see why the need for precision in these markets is so important.  Fortunately, the laser technology used at Resonetics is highly advanced. The laser can be tuned to "selectively" remove the coating material without affecting the underlying material. The laser stripping process removes the polymer insulation layer-by-layer where each layer can be as small as 0.1microns.

Stripping Capabilities

Laser stripping can be performed as an "end strip" or "mid-span" strip. Typical polymer insulation thickness varies from 0.0002" to 0.040", with the metal conductor or braid thicker than the insulation layer.

For best results, we perform laser stripping on systems configured with proprietary long line optical modules (up to 80-mm in length), so that the entire strip length can be machined at one time. The beam is formed as a long thin line where the beam length is the strip length, and the beam width is the outer diameter of the wire or mesh assembly.

The laser beam is homogenized (guaranteed uniformity of energy distribution along the entire length of the strip region) to ensure all the material is removed, especially at the transition zone between stripped and non-stripped area. This method offers superior process reliability and consistency compared to moving a small beam back and forth along the wire length where beam overlap affects the process quality by generating areas of deeper or shallower ablation.

For high volume applications, Resonetics offers the following solutions to reduce costs:

  • Automated part handling such as reel-to-reel or reel-to-part for stripping wires
  • Systems that can both strip and cut the wire to length, with in-situ metrology to measure the strip region and wire length
  • Optical retro-reflectors for 2-, 3-, and 4-beam configurations  that can perform simultaneous coating removal

Learn more about our high volume production capability.

Single wire stripping

Wire Stripping

Laser Wire Stripping Applications

Laser stripping is used in many medical device applications where some form of radio-frequency (RF) or electrical stimulation is required, such as when treating arrhythmia. Laser stripping of polymer coatings of individual wires, bifilars or catheters will expose underlying conductors to create a clean surface without leaving any residue.  Laser stripping is also used when the outer jacket needs to be partially removed to provide device flexibility.

Many types of medical devices require laser stripping, but some of the more common ones include:

  • Cardiac rhythm management devices such as pacemakers and ICD leads
  • Electrophysiology ablation devices, such as those for atrial fibrillation
  • Embolic protection and guide catheters
  • Neuromodulation devices, such as those that stimulate the spinal cord or brain
  • RF ablation probes used in arthroscopy and spine procedures

Materials

Our laser wire stripping services handle the following substrate materials and formats:

  • Wires, cables, coils (single or multi-filar)
  • Platinum, silver coated copper, alloys, Nitinol

and we handle the following wire coating materials:

  • Fluoropolymers – ETFE, PTFE, PFA
  • Polyimide
  • PET
  • Silicone