LCP Introduction To Liquid Crystal Polymers

Liquid crystal polymers (LCPs) present a special category of material which straddles the boundary between an ordinary solid and a liquid.

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Different from typical thermoplastics such as polyesters and other aromatic polymers, these unique molecules are now omnipresent in a broad spectrum of modern-day applications. LCPs have particularly useful material properties such strength, dielectrics, chemical reactivity (resistance), and biocompatibility for medical applications. Recently, Zeus has introduced LCP extruded as a monofilament fiber for use as vascular catheter reinforcement braiding. This non-metal braiding presents the potential of truly MRI-compatible catheters and removes the risk of radiation exposure from x-ray for both clinicians and patients. To date, no widely accepted MRI-compatible catheter has been achieved.

LCP  Introduction To Liquid Crystal Polymers presents an overview of LCPs, their unique chemical structure and orientation, and their relevance in industry as thermoplastics. We compare LCP monofilament to other catheter braiding materials including stainless steel. We show that LCP braiding rivals stainless steel in several areas and that catheters made with LCP monofilament braiding are poised to become the first fully MRI-compatible catheters both for performance and manufacturability.

This technical paper explores many important topics, including:

  • Unique structure of LCPs
  • Vital application-specific properties
  • How LCP monofilament compares with other non-metal catheter braidings

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