Plastics Technology

SEP 2018

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New Cellulose-Based Biomaterial For 3D Printing and Molding of Medical Devices FibreTuff, West Unity, Ohio, recently launched compounding operations to manufacture a cellulose-based biomate- rial for 3D printing and molding of Class I and II medical devices for spine, trauma and sports medicine. The company expects to hire about 20 people over the next three years as companies across the U.S. begin to use FibreTuff PAPC fila- ments and powders for 3D printing. FibreTuff 's PAPC filament can be used in 3D printers without the odors typically associated with the process. In addition, the cost to those printing medical devices, such as cervical spacers and implants, is said to be about 30% less than other products. According to COO Ted Wolkowski, a key advantage is that it's radio-opaque, which means it can be seen on an x-ray, without need for additives, unlike other products on the market. Other distin- guishing characteristics of FibreTuff filament are that it will not dissolve inside the body; it has passed USP Class VI testing for implantation; and its weight and composition are similar to actual bone. Says company founder Robert Joyce, "The 3D bone replacements made with FibreTuff PAPC are so realistic, medical students can use them instead of animal cadav- ers for practice in sawing, screwing, cutting and laser cutting." Cellulose-based PAPC will be manufactured in West Unity in the form of filament as well as compounded pellets and bar stock for injection molding, extrusion and machining. 419-346-8728 • fibretuff.us Extrusion Firms Collaborate On Novel Catheter Shafts DSM and APK Cooperate on Recycling Multilayer Barrier Food-Packaging Films Recovery of multilayer barrier films that consist of a combination of PE and nylon 6—where the former acts as a barrier for moisture and the latter as a barrier for oxygen—is a new mission for recycling technology specialist APK of Germany (apk-ag.de) and nylon producer Royal DSM of The Netherlands (dsm.com). APK's Newcycling technology is a solvent-based physical process that reportedly can yield high-quality recycled pellets with properties close to virgin plastics from complex mixtures and multilayer structures. The process is cost- competitive and produces pellets from multilayer PE/nylon 6 packaging waste that can be used again in demanding flex- ible packaging, according to Florian Riedl, APK's head of business development. APK is building a plant for recycling multilayer PE/nylon 6 packaging with its Newcycling process that is scheduled for startup in the fourth quarter. Two medical extrusion innovators are combining technolo- gies in a move that will reportedly enable catheters to be produced more efficiently and with greater mechanical integrity. The agreement pairs up Adam Spence, Wall, N.J., a leading manufacturer of reinforced catheter shafts for vascu- lar technologies, with Microspec Corp., Peterborough, N.H., a specialist in complex tubing. As a result, Adam Spence will supply reinforced catheter shafts with Microspec's proprietary multi-durometer extrusions. "This partnership bodes well for customers seeking to enhance performance while lowering costs," says Steve Maxson, v.p. of marketing and sales at Adam Spence (adamspence.com). The most common method of constructing a catheter shaft—for example, one with four different sections of varying durometers—consists of laminating the four tubing sections together over the braided shaft in a reflow process. Microspec's inline multi-durometer extrusion technology, however, "allows two alternating durometer sections to be joined continuously during the extrusion process, ensuring gradual transition from one durometer to another," explains Timothy Steele, founder and CEO of Microspec (micro- speccorporation.com). "The length of each section can be programed into the extrusion process." The combined sections are then laminated together, reducing the number of bond joints. "This process will increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve mechani- cal integrity of the catheter shaft," notes William Li, senior catheter engineer at Adam Spence. 8 SEPTEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology PTonline.com T E C H N O L O G Y A N D I N D U S T R Y N E W S St ar t ing Up

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