Carbon is a material that, today, is used in many professional activities and fields: from racing cars to bicycles, from planes to boats, from components for missiles to prostheses. Knowing how to work well carbon has become a hallmark for every orthopedic technician who has the ambition to be among the best in his field. So today we want to answer the questions: what are the best types of carbon to use in orthopedics? How many are there, what are they and above all what are the differences?
Here are the four carbon processing methods in orthopedic technology.
The classic: casting.
Casting is the most traditional carbon processing in orthopedic technique, even taught by university, it is the technique that is known more than any other.
However, the limits are often ignored for this frequent processing. One of these is represented by the costs for the laminator (product that oxidizes quickly once it is opened) and the hardener, costs that are absent in other types of processing. Another problem is the much higher weight than other types of processing and the uneven thickness in the final product. In casting processing there is also a certain degree of harmfulness: the carbon in the fabric releases microparticles that are particularly harmful to the person.
In short, precisely because of all these drawbacks, in recent years the casting process is increasingly giving way to other more modern methods, with less waste and less toxic.
Industrial processing is rarely used in the world of orthopedics. It is a process that includes the use of a pre-impregnated and a material which, exposed to air, causes a reaction. In this type of processing, raw materials have a relatively reduced cost compared to other processes even if they involve the use of rather expensive special machinery.
This type of processing is not very common in orthopedic technique for two reasons: the high cost of the machinery and the little practicality of the raw materials which, when exposed to the air to be used, quickly oxidize. Nonetheless, this system is very good for those who use carbon in massive quantities and therefore have the security of consuming all the material before oxidation renders it unusable.
Thermoformable carbon sheets are divided into two types: acrylic-based and polyethylene-based. Of these two types the most used are those in acrylic since they guarantee a strong resistance, those in polyethylene instead, excellent in other fields, do not have the same effectiveness.
Among the most effective carbon plates of their kind there is Gilacril. These are thermoformable sheets combined with acrylic and workable already at 130 °; of excellent quality, easy to use and purchasable with different thicknesses, they are among the best carbon sheets on the market.
The thermoformable sheets, however, have some points against them: they are not so easy to aggregate with each other or with other materials, to do this you need to use an acrylic-based product; furthermore, in order to be able to work on these slabs, saws, carbon blades and trances are required and after cutting the material must obviously be sanded.
Thermoformable carbon sheets are among the most common solutions in orthopedics even if they are not free from inconveniences and complications. For some years, however, a new innovative type of carbon processing material has emerged with extremely high performance and extreme versatility: EASYREG.
The best carbon: Easypreg
Easypreg is now considered the best carbon solution for the orthopedic technique. These are very thin but resistant carbon plates like the thicker ones. On the sheets you can draw the shape you want and then cut it out as on a sheet of paper, this material is also combined by fusion with all its derivatives without the aid of acrylic-based products.
Ultimately, EASYPREG guarantees maximum resistance in a truly minimal thickness and an unattainable lightness for other materials. Another peculiarity is that it can easily create points of greater thickness and greater resistance exactly where desired thanks to hot melting. Advantage connected to this is the total absence of waste: every cut and every piece of discarded material can in fact be reused by fusing it to create a point of greater resistance.
Unlike traditional carbon plates, these from Easypreg are worked at 220 ° / 250 ° to allow hot melting. In order to be able to work this material adequately, it is necessary to acquire and implement some specific knowledge. We strongly advise the reader that he is interested in following a specific course for working with Easypreg.