Titanium metal is used for medical and dental implants due to its strength, non-corrosive properties and bonding ability with soft tissue and bone. In order to encourage this bonding process and to give the tissue a good surface to adhere to, the metal needs to have an anchor profile. This very similar to preparing a surface for paint or coating. A rougher surface will provide more surface for bonding.
The titanium bone screws in the picture show a before and after blasting. These screws have a very smooth surface (before on left) after the machining process. Since the size of the screw is very small, it is difficult to blast the screws one at a time. A Tumble Blast system was used to create the lightly etched profile (blasted part on right) on the surface. The tumble blasting batch process allows for a large number of parts to be blasted at one time in a short period.
The surface finish shown was accomplished in about 10 minutes using 60 Mesh White Aluminum Oxide. This grade of media (99.5% pure aluminum oxide) was used to prevent contamination of the metal surface and provide a consistent and uniform finish from part to part.