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Evonik introduces PEEK with carbon fiber for 3D printing of medical implants

Evonik announced the launch of two new filaments for FDM/FFF technology in the form of carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK. The company claims these are the “world’s first” materials for 3D printing medical implants. Filaments called VESTAKEEP iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP iC4620 3DF contain 12% and 20% carbon fiber, respectively. Depending on the required strength and flexibility of the implants, they can be used to produce bone plates or reconstructive prostheses.

The new materials provide high strength resulting from the high carbon fiber content combined with the plasticity of the PEEK polymer. The company claims that additional benefits of the product include the ability to determine the orientation of carbon fibers during the 3D printing process, high biocompatibility for patients with metal allergies, and no artifacts caused by X-ray radiation.

“By introducing the world’s first carbon fiber-reinforced PEEK filament for long-term medical implants, we continue to design biomaterials that open up new possibilities in today’s medical technology for patient-specific treatments,” said Marc Knebel, director of medical systems at Evonik. “As experts with decades of experience in polymer chemistry, we combine a unique set of competencies in materials science, manufacturing technologies and regulatory knowledge to provide clients with above-average time to market for new life-sustaining medical technologies.”

The two new VESTAKEEP materials are delivered on 500 and 1000 g spools, with a diameter of 1.75 mm and can be used directly in standard FFF/FDM 3D printers dedicated to working with PEEK.

“No other application field demonstrates the advantages of 3D printing, such as customization and design freedom, like medical technology. For example, in trauma applications, 3D printed solutions offer enormous time advantages over traditionally manufactured medical devices. It is conceivable that solutions tailored to the patient’s needs could be produced within two or three days, which will significantly improve the recovery phase,” added Marc Knebel.

Over the past five years, Evonik has gradually developed new PEEK-based filaments for medical 3D printing applications, setting new standards for material quality in medical technology using additive manufacturing. The current portfolio includes various grades for applications requiring long-term and short-term body contact:

Applications involving long-term body contact:

  • VESTAKEEP i4 3DF – Implant Class (Long Term)
  • VESTAKEEP i4 3DF-T – test and development version
  • VESTAKEEP iC4800 3DF – osteoconductive implant grade
  • VESTAKEEP iC4612 3DF – implant grade reinforced with carbon fiber (12%)
  • VESTAKEEP iC4620 3DF – implant grade reinforced with carbon fiber (20%)

Applications of short-term body contact:

  • VESTAKEEP Care M40 3DF – medical care class

Source: www.infinam.com
Photo: www.infinam.com (press materials / all rights reserved)

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