LOS ANGELES The U.S. operations of Russias VSMPO-Avisma Corp. have been certified for titanium produced and sold in the medical market.
NF&M International Inc., a subsidiary of VSMPO-Tirus U.S. Inc., has been awarded International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification for medical devices that also includes its service centers in Leetsdale, Pa., and Ontario, Calif. Certification includes not only NF&Ms manufacturing process but also support activities, such as quality control.
Michael Metz, president of VSMPO-Tirus, Highlands Ranch, Colo., told AMM that while the certification isnt required to sell titanium for medical uses, "it demonstrates our commitment to that market." He said VSMPO is one of "the few suppliers that has spent the effort to gain this qualification."
Although the aerospace and industrial markets are considered the largest components of global titanium demand, industry sources describe medical as traditionally one of the most consistent segments on a year-to-year basis.
NF&Ms medical certification complements the same certification that the parent companys facility in Verkhnaya Salda, Russia, has already received, Metz said.
Monaca, Pa.-based NF&Ms main product for the medical market is precision-tolerance bar that customers machine into end products such as titanium screws and nails. The Russian facility makes standard-tolerance forging bar, generally 1-inch and larger, used to manufacture such products as knee and hip implants.
"The medical customer wants to buy a full package" of titanium products, said Metz, referring to the output of both the U.S. and Russian operations. VSMPO also distributes medical products globally.
The medical market for titanium is predominantly titanium 6-aluminum/4-vanadium and titanium 6/4 Eli (extra-low interstitial), along with some commercially pure titanium and titanium 6-aluminum/7-columbium, Metz said.