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Victrex puts money into unidirectional tape and medical trauma plate projects

Victrex (Thornton Cleveleys, UK) has announced that it will invest up to $22.7 million in downstream manufacturing to support identified programs in the industrial and medical sectors. The investment will go toward the construction of a new PEEK composite facility for unidirectional (UD) tape and new manufacturing capability for medical trauma plate applications.

UD tape is being used for Victrex's partnership with Magma Global on an oil and gas program that focuses on m-pipe. Magma's m-pipe is a high-strength polymer-carbon pipe that is stronger than steel in water yet is 90% lighter. It has a number of performance benefits, including corrosion resistance, and is flexible and spoolable, which offers the potential to reduce project cost. The m-pipe application has secured a number of development programs in 2015 with a diverse range of oil and gas operators, according to Victrex. UD tape composites are also being used in aerospace applications following the launch in October 2015 of Victrex AE250. (For more information, read "Victrex enters aerospace composites sector.")

In trauma, Victrex reports that it will continue to invest in specific downstream manufacturing facilities during 2016. Trauma plates composed of the high-performance composite PEEK-Optima Ultra-Reinforced are delivered by Victrex's medical division, Invibio Biomaterial Solutions. Cleared regulatory device predicates in the United States and Europe enable medical device manufacturers to more easily expand their trauma range beyond metal technologies.

Committed collaborations with medical device companies have now been established and continue to progress in multiple medical application areas, says Victrex. PEEK-Optima Ultra-Reinforced trauma plates offer 50 times better fatigue resistance than metal plates; x-ray translucency to facilitate improved fracture repair bone alignment; and stress transfer characteristics that may accelerate the healing process and address the sizeable cases of poor fracture repair or device failures that can occur in metal-based solutions, says the company.

The announced investments also include capital expenditure for the company's Polymer Innovation Center, which begins construction in early 2016.

TAGS: Materials
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