The Role of Composite Materials in Advanced Prosthetics and Orthotics

Orthopedics and prosthetics are, for millions of us, nothing short of a miracle. These devices allow people with congenital conditions, liabilities, and injuries to vastly improve their independence and quality of life.

What’s more, demand for advanced prosthetics and orthotics is surging. The market for these essential devices is worth tens of billions of dollars worldwide.

This figure is set to continue growing in the years to come. But how are the latest generation of advanced prosthetics and orthotics made?

Here, composite materials play a key role. Read on to find out the essentials of orthopedic composites.

What Are Composites Used For Advanced Prosthetics and Orthotics?

Put simply, composites are useful in orthotic and prosthetic manufacturing because human bones are themselves composites. Our bones are made of both hard and soft materials: calcium and collagen.

Composites offer the best chance to recreate the diverse structures of our bones and limbs so that prosthetics can perform just as well as the real deal.

This is why the orthopedic industry relies on high-quality composites more and more.

Carbon Fiber: The Perfect Mold

The ideal composite for advanced prosthetics and orthotics is, of course, carbon fiber.

Carbon fiber is used widely across the industry because it is malleable enough to create the unique, tailor-made, and complex structures needed for high-performance prosthetics. Carbon fiber is well-suited to the molded tech used in production today.

Fiber composites are also ideal for the production of “deep” components, with compound curves and thin walls. Even the most complex prosthetics are made possible with carbon fiber.

Variation is Key

Think of a limb or a joint as an organ. It has multiple different properties, and many different components to carry out its functions. To replicate this, you need composite materials that can offer both consistency and variation.

For example, a tibia will be thicker in some parts and thinner in others. This is because more weight will be loaded onto certain areas, requiring greater bone density.

This variation is exactly what carbon fiber is made for. Such composites can easily be molded to offer the variety needed to replicate a limb.

High Strength

When we talk about strength in prosthetics, we mean several things. This is the mechanical strength needed to move. It is the tensile strength needed to lift. It is the compressive strength needed to resist breaking and fracture.

This is what carbon composites can offer in spades. On top of this, carbon composites can also create prosthetics with the exact strength of human bone, but with a much lighter weight.

Our Composites in Your Designs

The advanced prosthetics and orthotics industry is growing and competitive. To stay ahead, you’ll need the materials that offer the highest performance and the greatest cost-effectiveness. For this, we have got you covered.

To find out how to get our composites into your designs, feel free to get in touch. You can also request a quote online to get a crystal-clear picture of the value for money that we can offer you.

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