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SN-PEEK: What Is It?

SINTX SN (Silicon Nitride)-PEEK composite combines the unique and beneficial bioactivity of silicon nitride with the familiar fit, feel, and processing properties of conventional polyetheretherketone (PEEK) polymer1, 2.

This material is produced by compounding an extremely fine particulate form of SINTX MC2 Si3N4 bioceramic into an implant grade PEEK matrix. Subsequent forming operations produce new surfaces with the same enhanced properties as the original stock composite, giving device manufacturers design and process flexibility when working with this material.

What Makes it Different?

Coating delamination concerns are avoided since the bioceramic is uniformly dispersed throughout the polymer volume instead of adhered to the surface. In addition to exhibiting mechanical properties comparable to monolithic PEEK, SN-PEEK has demonstrated improved imaging properties along with resistance to biofilm formation and upregulation of bone cell activity during testing in vitro3.

Top Applications

Due to silicon nitride’s exceptionally high strength and toughness, it’s used in many applications and industries, including biomedical, bearing, aerospace and high temperature applications.
 
  • Biomedical

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    Biomedical

    Silicon nitride is a valuable material for spinal implants and prosthetic replacements for hip and knee joints, with demonstrated antibacterial and osseointegrative properties to support bone formation.
  • Cutting tools

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    Cutting tools

    Silicon nitride can cut cast iron, hard steel, and nickel-based alloys with surface speeds up to 25 times faster than conventional machining materials such as tungsten carbide.
  • Automotive

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    Automotive

    Silicon nitride is used throughout the automotive industry in engine parts and engine accessory units. Because of its durability and thermal resistance, it can extend contact fatigue life.
  • Energy

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    Energy

    Silicon nitride can withstand the high temperatures and corrosive environments found in solar cells, fuel cells, and other energy applications.
  • Aerospace

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    Aerospace

    Silicon nitride’s strength, lightness, and ability to withstand and perform at high temperatures have made it the material of choice for various aerospace applications.

References

1 Pezzotti, G. et al., “Human Osteoblasts Grow Transitional Si/N Apatite in Quickly Osteointegrated Si3N4 Cervical Insert,” Acta Biomater., 64, 411-420, (2017).

2 Pezzotti, G. et al., “Bioactive Silicon Nitride: A New Therapeutic Material. for Osteoarthropathy,” Sci. Rep., 7 44848 (2017).

3 Pezzotti et al., Macromol. Biosci. 2018, 1800033.

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