- VESTAKEEP® filament with 12% or 20% carbon-fiber content for adaptability to requirements of implants
- Alignment of carbon-fiber can be controlled during the 3D printing process
- Ideal balance of high strength, ductility and low weight makes PEEK an ideal metal-free alternative for implants
Marl, Germany. Evonik is introducing a new carbon-fiber reinforced PEEK filament, for use in 3D printed medical implants. This smart biomaterial can be processed in common extrusion-based 3D printing technologies such as fused filament fabrication (FFF). The specialty chemicals company will present the new product for the first time at coming next medical technology and 3D printing related trade shows.
Carbon-fiber reinforced PEEK for 3D printed medical implants
Dubbed VESTAKEEP® iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP® iC4620 3DF, the two available filaments feature 12% and 20% carbon fiber content, respectively. The two grades offer a choice of material depending on the required strength and flex properties of 3D printed implants such as bone plates and other reconstructive prostheses.
Evonik’s VESTAKEEP® iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP® iC4620 3DF offer great benefits from the strength from the high carbon-fiber content, matched with the ductility of its PEEK component. Additional product benefits include the ability to define the alignment of the carbon fibers during the 3D printing process, high bio-compatibility for metal allergy-patients, and the no x-rays artifacts.
Designing smart biomaterials for a life beyond limits
“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 treatment,” says Marc Knebel, Head of Medical Systems at Evonik. “As passionate experts with decades of experience in polymer chemistry, we combine a unique set of competencies in materials science, manufacturing technologies and regulatory expertise to customers to accelerate time-to-market of new medical technologies for people's lives beyond limits.”
With a diameter of 1.75 mm, VESTAKEEP® iC4612 3DF and VESTAKEEP® iC4620 3DF are supplied on 500g and 1,000g spools that can be used directly in standard FFF/FDM 3D printers for PEEK materials. The filament is subjected to strict quality management for medical materials.
"No other application field showcases more the advantages of 3D printing, such as individualization or design freedom, than medical technology," says Knebel. “In trauma applications, for instance, 3D printed solutions offer an enormous time advantage over traditionally manufactured medical devices. It is conceivable that patient-specific solutions can be manufactured within two or three days, significantly improving the recovery phase.”
Comprehensive portfolio of PEEK filaments for medical technology
Over the last five years, Evonik has been gradually developing new PEEK-based filaments for medical 3D printing applications and thus setting material quality standards in medical technology with additive manufacturing. The current portfolio includes different grades for long-term and short-term body contact applications:
Long-term body contact applications:
- VESTAKEEP® i4 3DF - Implant grade (long-term)
- VESTAKEEP® i4 3DF-T - Test and development grade
- VESTAKEEP® iC4800 3DF - Osteoconductive implant grade
- VESTAKEEP® iC4612 3DF – Carbon-fiber reinforced (12%) implant grade
- VESTAKEEP® iC4620 3DF – Carbon-fiber reinforced (20%) implant grade
Short-term body contact applications:
- VESTAKEEP® Care M40 3DF - Medical care grade
Evonik has been the world's leading manufacturer of smart biomaterials for additive manufacturing technologies for more than 20 years. The specialty chemicals company offers the industry's most extensive portfolio of 3D-printable biomaterials for medical technology, which can be used to manufacture medical device parts designed for temporary and permanent body contact. In addition to PEEK-based filaments of the VESTAKEEP® brand, the portfolio includes the RESOMER® line of bioresorbable filaments, powders and granules for implantable medical devices.
Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of €18.5 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of €2.49 billion in 2022. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable, and sustainable solutions for customers. About 34,000 employees work together for a common purpose: We want to improve life today and tomorrow.
About Smart Materials
The Smart Materials division includes businesses with innovative materials that enable resource-saving solutions and replace conventional materials. They are the smart answer to the major challenges of our time: environment, energy efficiency, urbanization, mobility and health. The Smart Materials division generated sales of €4.83 billion in 2022 with about 7,900 employees.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.