Because of their strength combined with their light weight, fiber-reinforced plastics have numerous applications in the automotive and aerospace industries. They also have enormous potential in medical applications, according to the Fraunhofer-Institute for Production Technology IPT (Aachen, Germany).
The institute has developed a micro pullwinding process that enables the mass production of minimally invasive devices, and researchers currently are working on techniques to process thermoplastic fiber composites for the manufacture of customizable devices.
The use of thermoplastics allows the devices to be shaped to suit individual anatomies and requirements after the material has undergone the initial hardening process.
To view another slide show from the PlasticsToday Medical Channel, devoted to medical wearable devices, click on the arrow under the image.