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Foster Corp. and Mitsubishi partner to distribute medical polyamide in North America.

Foster Polymer Distribution, a business unit of Putnam, Conn.-based Foster Corp. specializing in the distribution of medical polymers and additives, is partnering with Japan-based Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. Inc. to distribute MX-Nylon to the North American medical market.

Mitsubishi's MX-Nylon is a meta-xylene diamine polyamide that, according to Foster officials, offers "excellent mechanical and barrier properties for molded components and devices, and medical packaging applications."

Polymer components frequently are preferred over metal in medical equipment since they do not interfere with magnetic resonance imaging, computerized axial tomography, fluoroscopy and X-ray imaging.

Mitsubishi's MX-Nylon is a high-strength metal replacement material with a flexural modulus 50 percent greater than traditional polyamide 6/6 and 15 percent greater than polyether ether ketone (PEEK). At less than 25 percent the price of PEEK, MX-Nylon is an economical option for components that must be radiolucent and high strength, Foster officials noted.

MX-Nylon also offers gas barrier properties against oxygen and carbon dioxide compared with all commercially available polyamides, as well as ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymers, acrylonitrile copolymers, and polyvinylidene chloride copolymers. Excellent heat stability and a wide processing window allows this polyamide to be co-extruded or co-injection molded with other polymers, such as polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene or polyethylene for multi-layer medical packaging or containment systems that require low oxygen permeation. MX-Nylon also is suitable for applications that must withstand sterilization by gamma, e-beam, ethylene oxide and retort methods.

"MX-Nylon has been very successful in a wide variety of applications and industries. We are excited to partner with Mitsubishi to promote the benefits of this unique material in medical devices and equipment," said Brittany Palmer, business manager for Foster Distribution. "MX-Nylon grades are currently available for injection molding and extrusion."

Foster Polymer Distribution operates within two facilities in the United States, including its corporate headquarters in Putnam and a plant located in North Las Vegas, Nev.

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Title Annotation:Industry News
Publication:Orthopedic Design & Technology
Date:May 1, 2015
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