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Arkema Introduces Medical-Grade ‘Bio-Circular’ PA 11

The easy-to-process polymer is sufficiently stiff to replace metal parts in surgical devices and has a much lower climate-change impact than comparable, fossil-based plastics.

November 17, 2021

1 Min Read
castor beans
Rilsan MED PA 11 is based on Arkema's amino 11 chemistry, which is derived from castor bean oil.Image: Alamy/Mohammed Anwarul Kabir Choudhury

A new polyamide (PA) 11 developed for medical applications combines performance and lightweight properties with sustainability credentials. Part of Arkema’s Advanced Bio-Circular materials portfolio, Rilsan MED PA 11 is based on the company’s flagship amino 11 chemistry, which is derived from castor bean oil, and can help medical device OEMs achieve corporate sustainability goals.

Rilsan MED PA 11 is formulated with 65% glass fibers, resulting in a tensile modulus of 18.5 GPa. This property makes the material a suitable candidate to replace metal in surgical tools, according to Arkema. Processability features, including low mold temperatures and injection pressures, helped early adopters to easily switch materials and decrease cycle times while maintaining component integrity, said Arkema.

Rilsan MED PA 11 withstands repeated gamma, steam, E-beam, and EtO sterilization cycles and exposure to harsh chemicals. Biocompatibility has been assessed according to USP Class VI and ISO 10993-4, -5, and -10 standards.

Rilsan MED PA 11's sustainability credentials include a climate-change impact as much as 50% lower than competitive fossil-based polymers and a reduction in the depletion of fossil fuels. The polymer is recyclable, most effectively when it is processed through Arkema’s closed- or open-loop Virtucycle program.

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