- The high carbon-fiber content delivers strength while PEEK brings ductility to the 3D-printed medical implants
Evonik, a global leader in specialty chemicals, has introduced new carbon-fiber reinforced PEEK filaments for medical implants. This smart biomaterial is compatible with common extrusion-based 3D printing technologies like fused filament fabrication (FFF). The new product will be unveiled for the first time at the upcoming medical technology and 3D printing trade shows.
The two available filaments, VESTAKEEP® iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP® iC4620 3DF, have 12% and 20% carbon fibre content, respectively. The two grades provide a material selection based on the required strength and flex properties of 3D printed implants like bone plates and other reconstructive prostheses.
Evonik’s VESTAKEEP® iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP® iC4620 3DF offer significant advantages due to the high carbon-fiber content and ductility of its PEEK component. Other advantages of the product include the ability to define the alignment of the carbon fibres during the 3D printing process, high biocompatibility for metal allergy patients, and no x-ray artefacts.
Carbon-Fiber reinforced PEEK filaments for Medical Implants
VESTAKEEP® iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP® iC4620 3DF are supplied on 500g and 1,000g spools with a diameter of 1.75 mm and can be used directly in standard FFF/FDM 3D printers for PEEK materials. For medical materials, the filament is subjected to stringent quality control.
“By introducing the world’s first carbon-fiber reinforced PEEK filaments for long-term medical implants, we continue to design biomaterials that open up new possibilities in today’s medical technology for patient-specific treatment. As passionate experts with decades of experience in polymer chemistry, we combine a unique set of competencies in materials science, manufacturing technologies and regulatory expertise to customers to accelerate time-to-market of new medical technologies for people’s lives beyond limits.”– Marc Knebel, Head of Medical Systems at Evonik
Knebel added, “No other application field showcases more the advantages of 3D printing, such as individualization or design freedom, than medical technology. In trauma applications, for instance, 3D printed solutions offer an enormous time advantage over traditionally manufactured medical devices. It is conceivable that patient-specific solutions can be manufactured within two or three days, significantly improving the recovery phase.”
Comprehensive Portfolio of PEEK filaments for Medical Technology
Evonik has gradually developed new PEEK-based filaments for medical 3D printing applications over the last five years, setting material quality standards in medical technology with additive manufacturing. Different grades are currently available for long-term and short-term body contact applications in the portfolio:
Long-term body contact
- VESTAKEEP® i4 3DF – Implant grade (long-term)
- VESTAKEEP® i4 3DF-T – Test and development grade
- VESTAKEEP® iC4800 3DF – Osteoconductive implant grade
- VESTAKEEP® iC4612 3DF – Carbon-fiber reinforced (12%) implant grade
- VESTAKEEP® iC4620 3DF – Carbon-fiber reinforced (20%) implant grade
Short-term body contact
- VESTAKEEP® Care M40 3DF – Medical care grade
For more than 20 years, Evonik has been the world’s leading manufacturer of smart biomaterials for additive manufacturing technologies. The specialty chemicals company has the most comprehensive portfolio of 3D-printable biomaterials for medical technology in the industry, which can be used to manufacture medical device parts for both temporary and permanent body contact.
The portfolio includes the RESOMER® line of bioresorbable filaments, powders and granules for implantable medical devices, in addition to PEEK-based filaments under the VESTAKEEP® brand.
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