Compounds that incorporate ceramic, metal oxide, tungsten, or mineral fillers are combined with thermoplastic resins to produce injection-moulded radiopaque components.
In studying lead’s shielding properties, one company has discovered that less-harmful materials exhibit similar traits. As a result, Lati Industria Termoplastici S.p.A. (Vedano Olona, VA, Italy) has developed radiopaque thermoplastic compounds that provide shielding benefits. The company offers its Latigray compounds for use in injection moulding processes.
The compounds incorporate ceramic, metal oxide, and mineral fillers. Ecoefficient metals, such as tungsten, are also used. The fillers are combined with thermoplastic resins, such as polypropylene, polyamide, polyphenylene sulphide, and PEEK. Shielding features can be optimized based on the type and quantity of filler material used.
Latigray compounds filled with tungsten produce shielding effects similar to components made with lead, according to the firm. The compounds are sufficiently malleable to be used with complex mould geometries.
Current applications for the Latigray product line include dental instruments and products that need to remain visible when exposed to ionizing radiation by means of fluoroscopic or x-ray equipment.