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Foster Corp. has broadened its composites for medical devices by developing nano-reinforced compounds.
The new materials are aimed at minimally invasive devices such as catheters. The Putnam, Conn., firm says they composites have filler levels as high as 30 percent to increase properties of the base resin while maintaining processability in thin-wall components.
The nano particles interact with the polymer structure to boost flexural properties and rigidity, claims Foster. The firm says it has come up with proprietary screw designs and processing techniques that allow loadings up to 30 percent in common medical catheter materials such as thermoplastic elastomers. Other materials suited to the technology include thermoplastic polyurethanes and nylons. Flexural modulus can rise by 300 percent.
Foster says nanotechnology allows tailoring medical device properties without changing the base polymer, for example in coextrusion and bonding applications.