News - A Positive Spin on Composites

Feb 18, 2008, Walkerton, Indiana

While reviewing the project with the client, Polygon's design engineers recognized the entire assembly including the trocar, tip and hub could be created and assembled internally. This provided the customer with a one-source solution and eliminated additional sub-assembly supplier costs.Polygon Company's medical product development team initially received a request for a composite trocar for use in a high load electro-surgical device. Composite materials are well suited for use with electro surgery as they are insulating without the need for wrapping.

Within two weeks of initial discussions, Polygon had designed and prototyped sample trocars for the customer for evaluation. Meanwhile, the injection molded tip and hub were being designed and quoted as value ads.

All items were machined in Polygon's state-of-the-art tooling facility to exacting customer standards, and bonded with a quality adhesive. This assured the final unit met the standard and achieved a pull-out force on the hub which exceeded the strength of the tube at over 138 psi.

Unlike isotropic metal components, composite materials can be tailored to the project by choosing the right fiber winding and resin combination to meet specific needs. In this case, braided fiber orientation was chosen to increase stiffness. This also provided the toughness to withstand deflection without deforming permanently, a common weakness with metal trocars. Composite materials are radiolucent, allowing for imaging during the procedure, a necessity in this application.

The final trocar weighs approximately 75% less than the metal counterpart, down to 4.51 grams from the original 19.5 grams while still meeting project specifications.

Polygon's engineers offer customers innovative thinking and unique composite solutions for complete laparoscopic surgical assemblies.

About Polygon Company

Founded in 1949, Polygon Company is a proven composite material engineering innovator, currently holding over 40 active patents on unique products, designs and proprietary manufacturing capabilities.

Headquartered in Walkerton, Indiana, Polygon has expanded to a worldwide manufacturing and distribution network providing composite solutions in multiple industries from bearings to laparoscopic surgical tubing.

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