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Where do orthotic labs buy their thermoplastic material from?

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Kursh Mohammed, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Kursh Mohammed

    Kursh Mohammed Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm trying to find out where The Orthotics Group (TOG) and Ever-Flex Orthotics buy their material for their foot orthotics from?

    And what makes it so unique to other thermoplastic materials?

    Thank you!

    Kursh Mohammed
  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Algeo's would be a good place to ask.
  3. Kursh Mohammed

    Kursh Mohammed Active Member

    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for the reply. I've tried Algeos, no luck at all!
  4. Lawrence Bevan

    Lawrence Bevan Active Member

    I think ever-flex make their own material for their own exclusive use.

    I think it contains nylon and has a lot of flex but also near infinate ability to return to shape.
  5. hughsheridan

    hughsheridan Member


    I am Hugh Sheridan from Algeos. I am not sure who you spoke to when you contacted us but the TOG and Everflex materials are just composites of fibreglass, carbon fibre, Polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon.

    We sell a very wide range of composite products which will do the exact same job as these materials. I am always researching and developing new foot orthotic materials and there's nothing mindblowing about the materials you mention. A lot of material procurement comes down to volumes and whether we invest in the processes to manufacture specific composites and in what form - pre shaped or a flat plate.

    We have many shells available with different rigidities and different composite mix - our thermoshell product is made of a nylon mix so it can be reheated again and again withour losing any form or stability.

    Our XT range of composites are a polypropylene with a carbon mix but wide range of rigidities when heated and formed. Remember many of these so called carbon fibre products are not carbon fibre at all - they may have 10-20% carbon in them - mainly for colour - true carbon is very expensive and wouldn't work commercially in the foot orthotic market.

    Kursh - you're welcome to contact me directly at hugh.sheridan@algeos.com

  6. Kursh Mohammed

    Kursh Mohammed Active Member

    I think your right, the material is specifically manufactured with variety of different materials added, making it very strong and unbreakable.
    TOG use the same material, so unsure if it’s directly made for Ever-Flex only, one of the reasons why I'm intrigued on finding out!
  7. Rich Blake

    Rich Blake Active Member

    This is Dr Rich Blake San Francisco. In the US we get it from JMS Plastics, 1-800-342-2602. Hope this helps.
  8. Kursh Mohammed

    Kursh Mohammed Active Member

    Hi Rich,
    Thank you for your reply. I've been in contact with JMS Plastics in America, though once again not sure if they stock that particluar material Ever-Flex or TOG use. But thank you again for the post!
  9. joejared

    joejared Active Member

    A good number of the labs I work with buy from Piedmont plastics and it is a company I usually recommend for white and black materials. Materials used so far that I'm aware of, polypropylene, acetal (delrin), of varying colors. More recently, for another project I've been working with HDPE, and unlike polypro, it appears to have slightly better finishing characteristics, in that it can actually have a polished finish. UHMW doesn't machine or finish well.
  10. Kursh Mohammed

    Kursh Mohammed Active Member

    Hi Joe, thanks for your post.

    Do you mean HDPE to be Polyethylene grade 1000 and UHMW to be polyethylene grade 500?

    We use both materials for fabricating orthotics, the 1000 grade is more flexible than the 500 grade. I have found the material to be more expensive than polyprop but does give good results. 500 doesn't fracture, it would just bend and cause a mark in the plastic but when its formed into an orthotic is has some though little amount of flexibility.
  11. joejared

    joejared Active Member

    for HDPE, probably. I understood hdpe to be high density polyethylene, with slightly stronger and better machining characteristics than polypropylene. Unlike many of the materials I've worked with, hdpe seems to take well to polishing.

    For machining purposes, I later understood UHMW to be barely usable. It machines okay, but doesn't grind/finish well. I was under the impression that UHMW was partly recycled material. In my application, I needed black material 1/2" thick, for a few of the RadScan parts. Since my purchase of the HDPE, I scrapped everything made from UHMW in favor of it.

    In terms of material expenses, my customers pay from $12.00 to $50.00 for a 12x24" sheet of material, usable to make 4 /2 pairs of devices. Of the two harder materials, UHMW, and acetal, the latter is much better finishing characteristics and has a tensile strength useful enough to be an alternative to carbon graphite, without adding a significant amount of bulk to the shoe. UHMW may be a less expensive alternative, but would be hell for the technicians to finish.
  12. robby

    robby Active Member

    everflex have their own material the owner of everflex developed and manufacturers the material. and it is unique to them ( they may sell it on to other manufacturers).

    we buy our material plastics mainly from North Sea Plastics, excellent range including plastics with antibacterial properties , (similar to the plastic in fridges).

    we also but from Algeos and get some other materials from the Phillipines and china.
  13. mahone

    mahone Member

    www.mecoplast.com this the supplier for carbon flex for TOG you are looking for.
  14. dlou

    dlou Welcome New Poster

    I know for a fact that TOG and EF use a proprietary material that is guaranteed never to break or bottom out. The owner of Ever-Flex was a former plastics engineer who invented it years ago. I doubt whether you can buy it without permission. But you should contact them as they sometimes sell to other manufacturers.

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