Nano reinforced nylon alloys for structural medical components

Nano reinforced nylon alloys for structural medical components

January 4, 2017

Foster Corporation

Putnam, Connecticut - Nanomed MAX compounds are for medical device components that require high strength, yet cannot use metals or traditional reinforced plastics. These compounds, based on an alloy of meta-xylene diamine polyamide (MX nylon), are United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Class VI tested and suitable for reusable instruments or components that must withstand gamma, e-beam, and ethylene oxide sterilization.

Minimally invasive procedures are increasingly used throughout the healthcare industry, and procedures require instruments, fixtures, and components that do not interfere with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized axial tomography (CAT), fluoroscopy, and X-ray imaging. Metals are not suitable and plastics often require reinforcing additives, such as glass fiber, to provide sufficient strength for structural components. However, these traditional additives are too large for molding or extruding intricate device components with thin wall sections. Unreinforced, high strength plastic options, such as polyetheretherketone (PEEK), are often cost prohibitive.

Nanomed MAX compounds incorporate nanoclay particles into a high strength nylon alloy. These platelet-shaped particles, less than a nanometer thick and up to 1,000 times greater in surface diameter, provide reinforcement at the molecular level. This enhances strength and rigidity of the polymer without hindering flow into thin sections. Nanomed MAX compounds include less than 10% by weight nanoparticles resulting in 15% more tensile strength than unmodified PEEK, for approximately half the price.