Specialty Polymers for Orthopedics

The orthopedic industry is responding to multiple demands: significant increases in global ageing populations; major advances in state-of-the art surgical practices; the high cost of implants and surgery induced health risk factors. The advanced materials available from Solvay introduce a wide variety of solutions which can improve design, performance, cost as well as reduce the risk of hospital acquired infections. With over 30 years of experience as the leading materials supplier for sophisticated implantable devices and surgical instruments, Solvay continues to provide the orthopedic industry with the largest selection of high-performance specialty polymers. 

Our broad portfolio of biocompatible plastics offers OEMs a wide selection of materials with the highest level of versatility for both implantable devices and surgical instruments, cases and trays. Solvay specialty polymers for orthopedics exceed the industry performance standards and outperform traditional metallic components with outstanding impact strength, superb chemical resistance and excellent sterilization compatibility for the most advanced healthcare instruments. 

Solvay’s specialty thermoplastics are tested for quality under ISO 10993:1 and the highest industry standards to ensure maximum performance and reliability. Our specialty polymers offer advanced material solutions in a range of orthopedic applications such as: orthopedic surgery kits; fixation devices; fusion devices; trauma plates; hip and knee replacements; and tibial, femoral and glenoid trials. 
 

Biocompatibility testing

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Single-Use Orthopedic Instruments

Solvay’s specialty polymers are equipped with advanced properties that improve manufacturing and performance standards across an array of single-use orthopedic applications. These rigid, high-quality plastics offer metal-like tensile strength for use in tools such as curettes, inserters, needle holders, forceps, lids and surgery kits. Specifically, Ixef® PARA (polyarylamide) and Udel® PSU (polysulfone) provide superior mechanical performance and cost-effective sterilization methods for orthopedic single-use instruments. 
 

Reusable Orthopedic Instruments

Solvay’s high-performance specialty polymers provide orthopedic reusable instruments with outstanding reliability, resilience and longevity. Solvay specially formulates their wide selection of polymers with unmatched tensile strength and chemical resistance to easily withstand repeat-cycle sterilization and long-term use. Accordingly, these medical-grade plastics tolerate the extremely high temperatures and harsh environments of steam autoclaving without any significant loss of mechanical properties and performance abilities. Radel® PPSU, AvaSpire® PAEK and KetaSpire® PEEK are essential polymers for orthopedic applications such as handles, knobs, grips, trials, cases, trays, and retractors. 
 

Improved Orthopedic Implants

Orthopedic implants, such as spinal cages or trauma plates, require a modulus similar to bone to mimic the natural body and fatigue resistance that enables longevity. Solvay’s Zeniva® PEEK (polyetheretherketone) offers outstanding tensile strength, creep resistance and a density almost identical to cortical bone to exceed these requirements and make it a viable alternative material for use in load-bearing structures, fusions and other orthopedic implants. Additionally, this biostable thermoplastic is radiolucent, which helps facilitate post-operative medical imaging. 
 

Chemical Resistance and Sterilization Compatibility

As gamma and steam sterilization exposes equipment to extremely harsh environments, the materials used in orthopedic devices must provide exceptional chemical resistance to maintain its optimal performance and mechanical integrity for extended use and repeat-cycle sterilization. Solvay’s specialty polymers for orthopedics have outstanding chemical resistance and high-heat tolerance to maintain their physical and performance properties in the harshest sterilization environments. 
 

Compatibility with sterilization methods

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Test Standards and Best Practices

Solvay’s portfolio of specialty polymers for orthopedics is tested for biological safety and quality under the highest industry standards to ensure optimal performance. This family of unparalleled thermoplastics meets USP Class VI testing standards both before and after gamma and steam sterilization and is tested under ISO 10993:1 for biocompatibility. All of our data is made available to our customers through our FDA Master Access File. Accordingly, we confidently recommend our materials for a full range of orthopedic applications.