Specialty polymers for medical device manufacturing
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Shepherd Bismuth Subcarbonate

Shepherd Bismuth Subcarbonate

Bismuth subcarbonate powder is highly visible under x-ray imaging. Minimally invasive devices that are guided by x-ray or fluoroscopy, such as vascular catheters, often use bismuth subcarbonate as an additive in plastics to enhance the visibility of devices during procedures. Commonly plastics used for these applications include thermoplastic urethanes (TPUs), polyamides (nylon 11 and 12), and polyether block amide copolymers (PEBA).

Shepherd’s bismuth subcarbonate is manufactured using a proprietary milling process to achieve particle sizes below 0.3 micrometers (1.2 x 10-5 inches). These fine particles allow for optimal dispersion of the radiopaque filler throughout the polymer during melt extrusion blending. This results in the excellent surface finish and consistent radiopacity throughout the device component.

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