Belgian chemical company Solvay introduced three new medical grade additive manufacturing materials for the healthcare industry at Formnext last week. The new materials, KetaSpire PEEK (NT1 HC), KetaSpire PEEK (CF10 HC) and Radel PPSU (NT1 HC), are Solvay’s first high-performance filaments for medical use.
The three filaments, which are designed and graded for limited contact medical applications (with less than 24 hour bodily fluid or tissue contact), are already available to customers in Europe and North America through Solvay’s e-commerce shop.
“The healthcare industry is quickly emerging as a leading market to benefit from AM technology which makes customized parts for single use or low volumes possible,” commented Christophe Schramm, Additive Manufacturing business manager at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers global business unit (GBU). “However, there is still a very limited choice of high-performance filaments that meet the stringent regulatory requirements in healthcare and this is the gap we want to close with our new selection of medical grade products.”
The newly released KetaSpire PEEK filaments—including the NT1 HC filament and the CF10 HC, with 10% carbon fiber reinforcement—offer excellent fusion between print layers and enable the production of parts with high density and strength, even along the Z-axis. The Radel polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) filament, for its part, also offers good layer fusion as well as transparency and high elongation and toughness.
“These new medical grade AM filaments emphasize Solvay’s continuing, pro-active initiatives to support our customers,” stated Jeff Hrivnak, global business manager for Healthcare at Solvay’s Specialty Polymers GBU. “The filaments can be used for a range of healthcare applications such as patient-specific cutting guides for surgery and for complex components in single-use and reusable medical devices.”
In terms of cost, the KetaSpire PEEK CF10 HC filament is priced at just over $450 per 500 g; KetaSpire PEEK NT1 HC at about $920 per 1 kg; and Radel PPSU at just over $350 per 500 g spool.