ALPHARETTA, Ga., March 4, 2014– Solvay Specialty Polymers – a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoplastics offered for use in a range of markets including implantable and non-implantable medical devices – will host an Educational Summit during the upcoming American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) 2014 annual meeting scheduled March 11-15 in New Orleans. The educational session, set for March 13 from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Harrah’s New Orleans Casino & Hotel, will feature speakers from Solvay along with leading industry medical experts.

Solvay’s educational summit is the first of several to be held this year in select global regions. The event enables the company to move closer to the customer, offering valuable insight and information on critical topics at various levels in the healthcare field. The educational session is open to engineering, business development, product management, purchasing, and research and development representatives at major orthopaedic OEMs and Tier I suppliers.

The speakers’ agenda includes Dane Waund, Solvay’s global market manager for healthcare, who will discuss “Coming to Grips with Specifying High-Performance Plastics: A Surgical Retractor Metal Replacement Case Study.” The talk will focus on a metal-to-plastic conversion which was engineered via a seven-step procedure that analyzed end-use performance, biological safety, and economics. The session will offer proven techniques to demystify the challenge of metal replacement.

Another speaker, Seth Goldenberg, Ph.D., senior principal scientist with NAMSA, will discuss “Thinking Globally During Medical Device Development Lifecycle: Accelerating Products to the International Marketplace.” The talk will provide an understanding of global regulatory and testing requirements which can rapidly decrease time to market, save money, and boost revenue. He will present an overview of strategic global markets and tactical approaches to achieve global regulatory approvals.

Participants will also hear from Dr. Maureen Reitman, a Principal and the Director of the Polymer Science and Materials Chemistry Practice at Exponent Inc., an international engineering and scientific consulting firm, who will discuss “PEEK: A Structure-Property-Performance Overview for Medical Device Designers.” Reitman will provide an overview of the fundamental factors that determine polymer performance by illustrating the effects of chemistry, molecular size, and composition on processing and material performance. She will explore the inter-relationship of various properties and standard means for assessing, selecting, and effectively utilizing commercially available grades of implantable PEEK for medical devices.

At the AAOS meeting, Solvay (Booth #4131) will showcase its wide range of polymers offered for use in implantable and non-implantable medical devices. Medical grade plastics for instrumentation, reusable and single-use devices, medical equipment, and sterilization cases and trays include Radel® polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), Udel® polysulfone (PSU), Ixef® polyarylamide (PARA), AvaSpire® polyaryletherketone (PAEK), and KetaSpire® polyetheretherketone (PEEK) resins.

Solvay’s rapidly growing polymer business in healthcare also includes Solviva® Biomaterials, which are offered for use in implantable medical devices. The line of biomaterials includes Zeniva® PEEK, which boasts a modulus very close to that of bone plus excellent biocompatibility, toughness, and fatigue resistance; Proniva® self-reinforced polyphenylene (SRP), one of the world’s stiffest and strongest unreinforced thermoplastic that offers exceptional hardness and biocompatibility; Eviva® polysulfone (PSU), which offers practical toughness in a strong, transparent polymer; and Veriva® polyphenylsulfone (PPSU), which provides unsurpassed toughness combined with transparency and excellent biocompatibility.

Solvay is building on its 20-plus-year history as a key material supplier in the healthcare field, devoting considerable new resources to help customers be more efficient and cut costs. Metal-to-plastic replacement remains a key focus, helping manufacturers to alleviate cost pressures as the market continues to grow at a double-digit pace, according to the company.

Solvay also continues to devote considerable research and development activities to polymer technology and commercialization of new and unique material options for medical OEMs and processors.

Those interested in attending the Educational Summit can contact Lara Thompson at (770) 770-8919 or e-mail lara.thompson@solvay.com.

About Solvay Specialty Polymers 

Solvay Specialty Polymers is a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoplastics for permanent and prolonged exposure implants and limited exposure devices. The company has expanded its focus on the healthcare industry to meet the growing needs of its global customers by providing global technical and regulatory support. Solvay is building on its 25-year history as a key material supplier in the healthcare field, devoting considerable new resources to help customers be more efficient and cut costs. Metal-to-plastic replacement remains a key focus for manufacturers, but increased cost pressures pose a new challenge as the market continues to grow at a double-digit pace. Solvay also continues to devote considerable research and development activities to polymer technology and commercialization of new and unique material options for medical OEMs and processors.

Solvay Specialty Polymers manufactures over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers Ð fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds Ð for use in Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Membranes, Oil and Gas, Packaging, Plumbing, Semiconductors, Wire and Cable, and other industries. Learn more at www.solvay.com.

As an international chemical group, SOLVAY assists industries in finding and implementing ever more responsible and value-creating solutions. Solvay generates 90% of its net sales in activities where it is among the world's top three players. It serves many markets, varying from energy and the environment to automotive and aerospace or electricity and electronics, with one goal: to raise the performance of its clients and improve society's quality of life. The group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 29,400 people in 56 countries and generated 9.9 billion euros in net sales in 2013. Solvay SA is listed as SOLB.BE on NYSE Euronext in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB:BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR).