Examining Elliptical Surface Defects on Angioplasty Balloons Defects in angioplasty balloon material, which result in product discards, may represent a significant portion of production. Abbas Tcharkhtchi and Erik Andersen Ensuring the Safety of Balloon Catheters Because of the critical nature of angioplasty, the balloon catheter must have excellent performance characteristics, and defects that may impair its mechanical properties must be eliminated. As can be imagined, however, microscopic defects may be formed on the balloon during the manufacturing process. These defects have different origins, such as: To identify the cause of these elliptical defects, it is necessary to pay special attention to the polymer under study and its properties, and to consider all pertinent process parameters. It is then necessary to study the polymer in its initial state (granules), as well as during processing. Parameters related to the process. The polymer used in balloon manufacturing undergoes the following processes: heating and cooling, mixing, drying, stretching, and inflating. During these operations, different parameters may affect the polymer properties. These may include:
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