The material of choice in the biotech and biopharmaceutical
markets is 316L stainless steel because of its good weldability
and inherent corrosion resistance. However, 316L may contain
impurities in the form of trapped gases and non-metallic inclusiions.
To prevent this from becoming a problem for our customer,
we select only specific grades of 316L and purchase materials
to our own specifications.
Cardinal UHP also produces high purity copper tubing and fittings
as well as other materials such as 314SS, Hastelloy, AL6XN
Prior to placing any material in production we test representative
samples to determine their wall thickness, ovality, weldability
and compatibility with our electropolishing process and desired
Mechanical polishing uses abrasive materials to reduce surface
irregularities. Although it smoothes the surface, sometimes
mechanical polishing is not enough.
All fittings are chemically passivated after fabrication and
mechanical polishing to restore the passive layer of the original
base material. Depending upon the specification, fittings
are also electropolished to further reduce surface roughness
and improve corrosion resistance.
Electropolishing creates a smooth clean surface that enhances
corrosion resistance and reduces bioburden in microscopic
crevices. With our innovative and proprietary ALC-300 process,
Cardinal UHP has greatly increased our ablility to deliver
quality electropolished components for dependable performance.
The Cardinal UHP electropolishing system creates a leveling
action so effective that the finished surface often has only
one tenth the surface area of a mechanically or chemically
polished surface. During the electropolishing process the
wall thickness is carefully monitored, ensuring excellent
weldability with all automatic welding equipment.
Our ALC-300 controller uses statistical process control to
bring the electropolishing process into the twenty-first century.
Every vital parameter is monitored and regulated with this
innovative computer controlled system. Since process parameters
are stored in a database, the ulimate in material tracking
Cleaning for bioPURE products is done with 18 meg ohm RO/DI
water produced to the same standards used to clean integrated
circuits. Cardinal's RO/DI system is monitored to the following
Bacteria: Less than 6 colonies/100ml
Less than 25 ppb
0.1 micron absolute
and purging is done with UHP nitrogen procured to the following,
minimum purity specification:
Less than 1 ppm
Less than 2 ppm
hydrocarbons: Less than 1 ppm
Passivation dissolves free iron particles present following
forming, macing, and electropolishing processes. This is accomplished
by bathing the material in a heated solution of nitric acid.
If these particles are allowed to remain trhy can attach themselves
to the base material, eventually oxidizing and contamination
When used in conjunction with our proven electopolishing process,
passivation improves upon the original corrosion resitance
of the alloy. Material performance is dramatically improved
by the formation of a thick chromium enriched oxide layer.
Research and Development
As part of our extensive ongoing research and development
programs Cardinal UHP has funded metallurgy research at the
University of Missouris Center for Materials Research.
Surface treatment studies have focused on developing increased
standardization in the electropolishing process in order to
achieve a more predictable and consistent finished product.
Two areas that have been targeted to date are the variables
involved in the process and the effect that raw materials
have on the final product.The knowledge gained through our
R&D efforts led to the creation of the first ALC-300 digitally
controlled electropolish process monitoring equipment. This
equipment is capable of producing consistent quality products
without variance from operator to operator. Through our research,
we have come to understand that many inconsistencies in the
final product are directly attributed to variation in the
microchemistry and grain size of the raw material. This is
why we take special care to procure only materials providing
optimal conditions for electropolishing.Today we have improved
on the industrial specifications for raw stainless steel alloy,
establishing our own proprietary standards for material procurement.
Our continuing investigation of the effects of process variables
allows Cardinal UHP to transform the art of electropolishing
into a controlled science.
Cardinal UHP tubing and fittings are manufactured to meet
or exceed ASME UHP standards. Cardinal UHP was the first company
in the high purity tubing and fitting industry to be registered
to international ISO 9001 standards. Our unyielding commitment
to quality is evident in every step of our manufacturing process.
From the start of procurement we specify stringent material
standards. When raw materials arrive at our loading dock they
are quarantined until wall thickness, ovality, smoothness,
surface morphology, and chemical composition have been verified
to insure it will meet our rigorous electropolishing procedures.All
measuring instruments and analytical equipment are calibrated
and traceable to NIST standards. Finally, every employee is
empowered to declare piping and fittings unfit for sale if
deviations from our standards are discovered.
Fittings and tubing are not only inspected visually, but stylus
measurement devices and mass spectrometer helium leakdetectors
are utilized. Additionally, the following quality assurance
options are available:
Electron Microscope (SEM) photographs
Electron Spectroscopy (AES) tests
Spectroscopy Chemical Analysis (ESCA) tests
for presence of moisture utilizing a Meeco Aquamatic Plus
Tunneling Microscope (STM) surface analysis tests
Testing for presence of particles down to 0.01 micron utilizing
a MET1CNC particle counter
for oxygen and medical gas
processing (video probe and/or boroscoping capabilities)
Packaging is provided to protect the OD as well as the ID
of the products. Protective caps and bagging is done to ensure
the product arrives at your site in the same excellent condition
it left our factory. Tubing can be ordered with ends faced,
ready for welding.