You may not have heard of Foster Corporation, but the company is a leader in custom polymer compounds for medical devices. Now in a move that is very much of-the-minute, the company is offering nano-reinforced composites for minimally invasive devices, such as catheters, with reinforcement loadings up to 30% by weight.
Nano-reinforced compounds with so-called “high filler loadings” provide substantial increase in physical properties of the base resin while maintaining processibility in thin wall components.
These nano-reinforced compounds incorporate ultra-fine nano platelets that interact directly with the polymer structure to increase flexural properties and improve rigidity of components.
Previously polymers such as polyamides (nylons) and thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) were often limited to 15% nano-reinforcement filler loading by weight to ensure dispersion of the ultra-fine platelets in the polymer matrix. Foster has developed proprietary compounding screw designs and processing methods that are now capable of achieving loadings up to 30% by weight resulting in flexural modulus increases up to 300% in common medical catheter materials such as TPEs
Nano-reinforcement technology allows engineers to tailor the properties of a medical device without changing the base polymer, which may be necessary to for coextrusion or bonding applications. For example, the flexural modulus of 72 durometer of a TPE polymer can be adjusted from 100,000 to 400,000 psi (690 to 2758 MPa) using nano-reinforcements up to 30% by weight.
For more information visit the company’s website here.
Source: Foster Corporation