Foster Adds Solvay's PEEK & PAEK to its Arsenal

Polyketone-based polymers play a major role in highly-engineered, reusable medical device applications.

Foster Corporation, Putnam, Conn., has been appointed as a North American distributor of Solvay’s KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire PAEK polyketone-based polymers for the North American medical market. This will include unmodified polymers and standard color formulations currently offered by Solvay. Foster can also offer custom compounding of these polymers, including custom colors, for specific application requirements.

PEEK and PAEK medical grade polymers boast high flexural modulus and high strength and offer extreme heat resistance and excellent hydrolytic stability. They reportedly maintain their mechanical properties in reusable applications when exposed to multiple steam sterilization cycles as well as other sterilization techniques. Both polymers can withstand over 1,000 steam sterilization cycles without significant loss of properties. In addition, both polymers are biocompatible (USP Class VI and ISO 10993) and biostable. Common applications include surgical tools, tubing, and connectors, as well as healthcare metal replacement applications.

Foster is currently a distributor in the North American healthcare market for other polymers from Solvay, Alpharetta, Ga., such as Radel PPSU, Udel PSU, and Ixef PARA. “Solvay’s standard grades of PEEK and PAEK polyketone based polymers, along with their sulfone-based polymers, are in high demand for reusable medical devices. Additionally, device companies are increasingly evaluating material formulations that provide differentiated colors and performance characteristics,” said Foster’s executive v.p. Larry Johnson.