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August 23, 2008

1 Min Read
PAEK challenges metals for medical implants

A new member of the polyaryletherketone (PAEK) family has been developed by Victrex USA for use in medical implant products. Peek-Optima LT, a biomaterial designed to replace metals such as titanium, stainless, and cobalt-chrome alloys, can withstand more aggressive environments and maintain impact properties over a broader range of temperatures than HDPE, acetal, and nylon, according to the manufacturer. For example, the material?s heat-deflection temperature is 320F, with a notched Izod of 1.18 ft-lb/inch. Flexural modulus at 482F is 44 ksi.

Because the stiffness can be tailored to match that of human bone, Victrex claims Optima LT can be used in long-term applications such as hip, spinal, and dental implants. Its inherent lubricity helps prevent implants from cavitating on the bone, a feature especially important in hip implants. With its high melt flow, Optima LT can fill heart valve components and other products with very thin walls. Other applications include surgical aids, pacemaker components, and dialysis hardware. Price varies by application, but is significantly higher than Victrex?s standard PAEK, which costs $30 to $40/lb.

Victrex USA Inc.
West Chester, PA
Phone: (800) 842-8739
Fax: (610) 696-5702
http://www.victrex.com

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