Radiation therapy plays an integral role in the treatment of cancer, with state-of-the-art proton therapy equipment increasingly becoming the standard of care. This treatment method uses special high-performance magnets to generate a precisely aligned proton beam that targets tumor cells without damaging healthy tissue. As a result, medical technology companies rely on high-performance electrical steel strip materials from Waelzholz to manufacture the large magnets used in this radiation equipment.
Medical treatment centers that perform proton therapy often consist of entire building complexes and are equipped with sophisticated systems technology that generates protons and accelerates them to 60% of the speed of light (180,000 km/sec (111,847 miles/sec)). The radiation units used in these facilities consist of a particle accelerator known as a cyclotron and vacuum tubes that guide the protons to the precise spot on the body receiving the radiation treatment. Large magnets positioned on the tubes use strong magnetic fields to ensure that the radioactive proton beams specifically target only the cancer cells in the body (see Figure 1: Proton therapy).
Waelzholz manufactures high-performance electrical steel strip within the tightest tolerances featuring excellent magnetizability for large magnets used both in cyclotrons and on the vacuum tubes of proton therapy equipment. In this context, it is crucial that our material’s properties meet the highest standards and remain constant even over large batch sizes. This is due to the fact that a considerable quantity of our material is needed for these large magnets – the magnets used in such a system weigh between 15 and 25 metric tons each.