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Our 17th Annual Conference and Exposition will be in
Las Vegas, Nevada on June 17-June 22, 2012.

You need not be an APP member to attend the Conference!*

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How smooth is smooth enough? Surface finish standards for body jewelry

A superficial proposition:

Professionals and clients have a right to know the roughness of the surface finish of body jewelry from each manufacturer they choose to do business with. Roughness can be measured as Ra to the microinch (µin) or Metric: micrometer (µ) or nanometer (nm). (The final smooth finish for many polished surgical implants is specified at 0.025µm to 0.05µm (1µin to 2µin)). This would alleviate confusion and allow a more frank discussion of the merits of different processes to arrive at a desired finish.

Smoother is better in our case, but how smooth is smooth enough?

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Anodizing Titanium and Niobium Body Jewelry

Sign up for the workshop with Brian Skellie

APP ConferenceOnline Anodizing is Awesome!”

Previously Presented at BMXnet, UKAPP, APP, LBP, 2º Congresso Educativo para Perfuradores Corporais da América do Sul – ATPB 2013 & more events

1) What is Anodizing?

Anodizing is a process where a coating is built up on the surface of certain metals (titanium, niobium, tantalum, aluminum, magnesium and zinc) by heating, with chemicals, or by electricity. In the case of titanium, the coating that is built up is a layer of titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide, which is also known as titanium oxide, occurs naturally on the surface of titanium. Anodizing the surface of titanium can be done by the use of heat but the results are not easily controlled. The most common method is to form an oxide layer on the surface with the use of electricity. The way that this is done is with a variable power supply in which an electrode is connected to the positive side (anode), and one to the negative side (cathode).  Both are then submerged into a mildly conductive solution, thus completing the electrical circuit. The piece that is to be anodized is connected to the positive side, and that is why the process is called “anodizing”.

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Nonconforming Imported Titanium

Ti: what can slip by undetected

Ti: what can slip by undetected*En Español*

Some of my colleagues have already learned of this from my biomaterials presentations at APP 2010 and BMXnet conferences. This reflects upon imported jewelry, and the situations that can arise when quality controls are not normalized. So far, most of the response I get from US distributors of medical titanium alloys is for ELI material they only use domestic melts.

I’ve been talking with fellow ASTM committee members about international sourcing for F136 Ti in particular. They all only use domestic melts for ELI material from Perryman, ATI and Fort Wayne Metals for example . Therefore when companies in China or elsewhere want to make jewelry from F136 they either have to buy from a US or EU source that has a distributor in their area, eg Taiwan, or buy from an local mill melt, that quite possibly won’t meet FDA, BSI, ISO etc.

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