Platinum has been a primary metal of choice for CRM, EP and Neurostimulation applications for many years.  But, as the price for this rare commodity rises, the search for equivalent lower-cost alternatives has increased.  Some of these new Biomed™ Pt-substitution alloys have been found to offer equivalent or better performance.  Palladium, for example, is available at about 70% lower cost than platinum.  The table shown below compares properties of the Biomed™ alloys to show comparable features to Pt 10%Ir.

Biomed Alloys vs Platinum
Property Pt10% Ir Biomed 1000
Pd 10% Re
Biomed 500
Pd 5% Re
Max Impurities 1,500 ppm 5,000 ppm 5,000 ppm
Density 21.53 g/cm3 12.29 g/cm3 11.71 g/cm3
UTS as drawn 155 ksi 230 ksi 140 ksi
UTS annealed 55 ksi 80 ksi 50 ksi
Elongation as drawn 2% minimum 2% minimum 2% minimum
Elongation annealed 20% minimum 20% minimum 20% minimum
Electrical Resistivity 24 µ 32.5 µ 21.5 µ


Ideal applications for Biomed alloys include high-metal content forms including guidewires, marker bands and micromachined parts.

Manufacturing Process

All of the alloys are manufactured using the same basic process steps.  First, the alloy is blended and induction melted in a vacuum chamber with an inert atmosphere.  Next, the alloy is extruded to an intermediate size via high pressure and temperature processes.  Next, the rod is fabricated to the final shape using rolling mills and carbide and diamond dies.  Additionally, EDM micromachining processes are available for custom-designed parts with tolerances as low as 0.0002”.  Palladium 10% Rhenium is one such alloy with proven success as an alternative to Platinum/Iridium for EP and AF catheter wire.  Properties such as work hardening and tensile strength have shown equivalent performance, and comparable opacity in the wave length range of fluoroscopy.  Also, the softer characteristics of palladium and accompanying higher ductility can be easier to manufacture to various forms.  Interestingly, palladium has the highest magnetic susceptibility of Platinum-Group metals.  However, when it is alloyed with group IV-VI transition metals, Rhenium in particular, that magnetic susceptibility is reduced.  Lower magnetic susceptibility improves MRI comparability.

Cost Effectiveness

Introduction of the new BioMed™ Series of Platinum-substitution Alloys is just one example of our committment to developing a range of alloys to offer the lowest cost and highest performance for Medical Device Applications.  Alloys with other Platinum-Group Metals (PGM) including Iridium, Rhenium and others can provide equal or better characteristics at a lower cost that Platinum for many applications.


 Platinum and Palladium Prices

The rising cost of Platinum has led to JM's innovative development of lower cost radiopaque alloys.

Cold Work Curves for Platinum Biomed 500 and Biomed 1000

 Biomed™ Series Alloys will provide the same mechanical and physical properties of Platinum- based materials.

Biomed Alloy Features
Product Name Form Feature
Biomed™ 500 5%Pd/Re imporved as-cast hardness and wear resistance
Biomed™ 1000 10%Pd/Re general purpose medical device applications
Biomed™ 1400 14%Pd/Re higher strength for medical applications

Biomed Alloy Forms
Form Available Sizes
Tubing Refer to Tubing page
Wire 0.0015" (0.0381mm) or greater
Sheet Thickness: 0.002s" (0.0508mm) or greater
Micromachined Parts Tolerances +/- 0.005"
« Back «