‘Micro extrusion of feedstock’, a novel way for manufacturing micro multi-lumen metallic tubes for biomedical applications

Sandeep Kuriakose is an early stage researcher of the project Microman and a PhD student at POLIMI. He is working under the supervision of the associate professor Massimiliano Annoni and the research fellow Paolo Parenti. He is working in collaboration with the industrial partners Enki S.r.l and Marposs S.p.A.. Enki is expert in the extrusion and injection moulding of plastic tubes and components for biomedical application while Marposs is a world leading precision metrology equipment producer.

Sandeep works in the research field of micro extrusion of feedstock for the manufacturing of metallic bilumen tubes. Feedstock is a mixture composed by near spherical-shaped pre-alloyed metal powder combined with a polymeric binder. The developments in the metallic feedstock extrusion make it an appropriate process for manufacturing micro metallic components with unique properties.

Sandeep’s work on feedstock extrusion aims at overcoming the limitations of conventional metal extrusion for the fabrication of micro components because of the complications due to high operating temperature, defects and associated difficulties in mould making. Use of feedstock eases the process because of the lower operating temperature required. In feedstock processing, metal polymer feedstock is processed like a plastic and finally polymeric binder is removed by debinding and sintering phases to produce the finished part.

The development of a new process chain and the application of the product/process fingerprint concept for the production of precise mechanical components by micro extrusion is also being executed by this work. As per Sandeep’s words, “The training offered by Microman and periodic project meetings and discussions were essential for the development of each section of the process chain and thereby advancement of the project”. The technologies developed by other ESRs in Microman like Plasma polishing are also very useful to integrate to the process chain of micro extrusion to attain the high finishing required when bi-lumen tubes are used for medical purposes. The recent research work of Sandeep regarding micro milling of green feedstock showed promising result. It showed that micro milling can be applied to this process chain and also to hybrid extrusion-based additive manufacturing.  The application of his research work is expected in fabrication of micro bi-lumen tubes for assisted fertilization and multi-fluid delivery systems.






Fun Facts

During this period Sandeep has:

  • Extruded more than 30 m of bi-lumen tubes
  • Studied about 7 different kinds of feedstock compositions
  • Studied the greenstate milling effects of hot pressed and extrusion additive manufactured samples
  • Published 1 conference paper and done 1 oral presentation