Almost 50-year-old Exothermic, a specialty plastics molding company, continues to evolve. Serving primarily medical device designers and manufacturers, Exothermic recently expanded its capabilities with the addition of Proxima thermoset resins to its materials portfolio for reaction injection molding (RIM).
|Reaction injection molding produces strong, lightweight and flexible parts for medical technology systems and other applications. Image courtesy Exothermic.|
Exothermic claims it is the longest running RIM manufacturer in the United States. In the RIM process, the material is cured within the mold, resulting in strong, lightweight, and flexible parts. They resist impact and wear and are non-corrosive and chemically resistant, noted Kenilworth, NJ–based Exothermic.
The benefits of RIM for medical device design engineers include design freedom — variable wall thicknesses and encapsulations can be easily accommodated — surface quality and high repeatability, said Exothermic. The company routinely produces enclosures, lab instruments and imaging system components for medical device OEMs.
Exothermic added Proxima thermoset resins to its offerings because of the material’s unique set of properties that appeal to customers, said Paul Steck, President. “Proxima is exceptionally strong, works at high temperatures, and leaves no sink marks. Its low viscosity allows for faster processing than other conventional resin systems. This results in better mold fill — as well as the ability to use less expensive molds,” explained Steck
The material thus far has been used to mold medical device enclosures, among other products.
Proxima is based on Ruthenium catalyst technology patented by Dr. Robert Grubbs, who won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for this technology and is a co-founder of Materia Inc., which produces the resins. Specially formulated to address high-performance applications, Proxima thermosets are designed to be alternatives for traditional resins, such as epoxy, vinyl ester, and polyester resins, adaptable to industry-standard manufacturing processes, according to Materia.
For its part, Exothermic said that it has performed its own “torture tests” on the material and achieved “excellent results” in terms of durability. In fact, Exothermic recently delivered an order using Proxima to one of the country’s foremost engineering and design firms, where the product was very positively received, said the company.