High-Performance Resin Brings Comparable Strength & Rigidity Along with Moldability in Single-Use Instruments

September 10 2012

Ixef polyarylamide (PARA) resin from Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, LLC, delivers high strength, rigidity, and moldability in new disposable surgical devices manufactured exclusively by Biorep Technologies, Miami, Fla., for Miami Instruments LLC, a medical device company dedicated to the design and development of specialized instrumentation for minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS) procedures. The high-performance thermoplastic replaces stainless steel, allowing for more economical production of single-use surgical instruments.

“Ixef PARA’s strength and rigidity is similar to stainless steel and it can also be molded, allowing us to eliminate machining and realize a major cost reduction over stainless steel,” said Felipe Echeverri, engineering director for Biorep Technologies.

The tip of the Miami Instruments LLC Joseph Lamelas Knot Pusher and the Visor support bracket and S-Blade of the Joseph Lamelas Atrial Lift System are made of Ixef 1022, a 50% glass-filled PARA compound that combines high stiffness with an ultra-smooth finish. The tensile and flexural strength of Ixef compounds are similar to many cast metals and alloys at ambient temperature. The molded black parts minimize light reflectivity for the surgeon. They also can be sterilized with gamma ray radiation without any significant change in appearance or loss of mechanical properties, thereby eliminating the cost associated with repeated steam sterilization of reusable instruments.

Biorep selected Ixef PARA over 30% glass-filled liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and 30% carbon-filled polyetheretherketone (PEEK) due to its higher rigidity and lower processing temperature (500°F [260°C]). The high-flow resin can also readily fill walls as thin as 0.02 inch (0.5 mm), even with glass loadings as high as 60%.

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