05. Dec 2021
Arkema has introduced a new PA11 material that the company says has been developed to replace metal and traditional polymers in medical device applications. The renewably-sourced, recyclable Rilsan MED polyamide 11 is lightweight and biocompatible and offers the resistance to aggressive chemical agents and repeated sterilisation cycles required of medical polymers.
These polymers are derived from castor bean oil and hence offer a bio-based content of >98% with a carbon footprint that is 40-50% smaller than polyamides produced from conventional fossil-based feedstocks. Castor beans, moreover, do not compete directly with food crops and play no role in deforestation.
The new 65% glass-fibre reinforced Rilsan MED polyamide 11 grade has a tensile modulus of 18.5GPa, making it an ideal candidate to replace metal for the production of highly demanding surgical tools.
According to Mark Jessup, managing director at Surgical Dynamics, an early adopter of the new material, it is an ideal material for surgical tools, easier to process than the PARA (Polyarylamide) the company was using before.
“We have found in this new product Its bio-based nature has given us a real advantage to answer our customer’s drive towards more sustainable materials,” he said.
Arkema continues to innovate to offer sustainable and recyclable materials, based on its proprietary polyamide 11 chemistry, to the most demanding and challenging markets, added François Ruas, Health&Beauty global market manager, Arkema high performance polymers. “Our medical device customers are becoming more and more vocal on sustainability and Arkema is extremely well positioned to successfully help them transition to renewable materials and reaching their goals to reduce natural resource depletion.”