In an ongoing move to provide standard, off-the-shelf medical compounds at lower prices than custom-formulated medical materials, Foster Corp. has introduced a crosslinkable elastomer nylon compound said to offer excellent stiffness, resist collapsing, and won't soften at body temperature.
Referred to as the FostalinkTM Series, the compound is fully imprintable. Radiopaque rings can be added to the end product. Formulations include clear or an unlimited variety of transparent or opaque colors in quantities as small as 50 lb.
Applications for the new compound range from catheters to valving. Owing to its ability to hold rigidity at elevated temperatures and its chemical resistance, the material also has potential use as heat-shrink tubing and in automotive applications.
From a strictly physical perspective, here are some key product data figures the user might expect from Fostalink. In addition to being crosslinkable by gamma or E-beam irradiation for improved burst strength and temperature resistance, the material has an unfilled durometer Shore D of 75, a melt flow at g/10 units of 15-25, a tensile strength of 7,500, a 300% elongation at break, a flexural modulus of 200,000 psi, and a melting point of 345F.
"Foster has years of experience in developing such off-the-shelf solutions to solve problems experienced by OEMs," says Larry Acquarulo, Foster's president. The company also specializes in product design and development and material selection consultation.