Applications of Advanced Refractory Metal Products in Cancer Treatment

H.C.Starck Solutions provides advanced refractory metal products that can be used in cancer treatment. The company offers tungsten and tungsten alloys, tantalum, niobium as well as molybdenum and molybdenum alloys that find applications in the medical sector.

Tungsten and Tungsten Alloys

The tungsten alloys from H.C. Starck Solutions are used as critical components in radiotherapy cancer therapy wherein radiation shielding and precision are needed for effective targeting and destroying cancer while normal cells are preserved. Tungsten integrates high corrosion resistance with the highest melting point, least vapor pressure, and highest tensile strength at temperatures above 1650 °C of all metals. Its high density and hardness make it ideal for radiation shielding. Normally X-ray absorption and gamma radiation is directly proportional to the shielding material density. H.C. Starck Solutions' tungsten alloys having densities more than 50% greater than lead, provide extremely efficient radiation shielding and protection, especially in restricted spaces.

Tungsten is offered by H.C.Starck Solutions in alloy and pure form as completed machined parts to be used in a range of medical technology applications, including X-ray anodes, collimator or "anti-scatter" plates, radiation shielding, radioactive source containers, and syringe covers for radioactive isotope injection and radiopaque markers.

Tungsten Alloy Products: 17.0 to 18.5 grams per cc

Tungsten alloy products include K1700, K1701, K1750, K1800, K1801, K1850

HPM1700, HPM1701, HPM1750, HPM1800, HPM1801 and HPM1850

Molybdenum and Molybdenum Alloys

The products offered by H.C.Starck Solutions supports the medical sector with molybdenum products that are very hard and similar to tungsten has one of the highest melting points of all pure elements making it ideal for use in the extremely high temperatures generated inside X-ray tubes. TZM and pure molybdenum based alloys are the choice materials for the X-ray tube rotating anode discs and shaft components, where high temperature strength and creep resistance are highly desirable.

Molybdenum Sheet, Plate Foil, Forging Billets, Bar, and Rod Products:

A wide range of molybdenum and molybdenum alloy mill products are produced by using two primary consolidation methods; vacuum arc-casting (AC) and powder metallurgy (PM). Product availability from both these established processes provide users a number of options in selecting a material to satisfy their specific application requirements. Mill products available from either process include forging billets, bar, rod, sheet, plate and foil.

Molybdenum products offered include:

  • PD-7000 Pure Molybdenum AC Bar Low Carbon
  • PD-7006 Pure Molybdenum AC Bar
  • PD-7001 Molybdenum Alloy TZM PM Sheet 2702
  • PD-7011 Molybdenum Alloy TZM PM Plate 2703
  • PD-7004 Molybdenum Alloy TZM AC Plate 3403
  • PD-7005 Molybdenum Alloy TZM AC Sheet 3402
  • PD-7021 Molybdenum Alloy TZM AFBT AC Forging Billet
  • PD-7025 Molybdenum Alloy TZM ABT AC Bar
  • PD-7031 Molybdenum Alloy P/M TZM PM Billet
  • PD-7043 Molybdenum Alloy ODS Mo-La PM Sheet 2602
  • PD-7044 Molybdenum Alloy ODS Mo-La PM Plate 2603
  • PD-7020 Molybdenum Alloy AFB-30W AC Forging Billet
  • PD-7022 Molybdenum Alloy AFB AC Forging Billet
  • PD-7024 Molybdenum Alloy AB-30W AC Bar
  • PD-7008 Molybdenum Alloy PBT PM Bar
  • PD-7009 Pure Molybdenum PB PM Bar
  • PD-7010 Pure Molybdenum PSB PM Billet
  • PD-7029 Pure Molybdenum Plate PP-22-2
  • PD-7014 Pure Molybdenum Sheet Premium Grade PS-100-2
  • PD-7016 Pure Molybdenum Sheet Standard Grade PS-300-2
  • PD-7017 Pure Molybdenum Foil F-21-5
  • PD-7026 Pure Molybdenum ABL AC Bar Low Carbon
  • PD-7028 Pure Molybdenum ASL AC Sheet 3202 Low Carbon
  • PD-7030 Pure Molybdenum APL AC Plate 3203 Low Carbon

Tantalum and Niobium

Tantalum and niobium are well known for their corrosion resistance and are virtually inert to chemical attack by most acids. They are ductile materials that are good conductors of heat and electricity. Both of these are widely used in surgical instruments and implants, because they do not react with body fluids, and in the chemical processing and pharmaceutical industries. H.C. Starck Solutions supplies tantalum and niobium as sheet, plate, foil, rod, tube, and wire, and as semi-finished and finished parts.

Tantalum and Tantalum Alloy Products:

Tantalum and tantalum alloy products include the following:

  • PD-7033 NRC Ultra 76 Tantalum Alloy (Ta 2.5%W)
  • PD-7035 NRC Tantalum (UNS R05200)
  • PD-7036 NRC Tantalum Beam Melted Tantalum (ETA) (UNS R05200)
  • PD-7037 NRC 91 Alloy (ta-7%)
  • PD-7041 NRC Ultra 76 Tantalum Alloy (Ta 2.5%W)

H.C. Starck Solutions’ Products for X-Ray Technologies

X-ray technology is mainly used in medical imaging for diagnostic purposes. The growth of the medical imaging market, particularly in the computed tomography (CT) area, is being driven by the expanding use of CT technology for orthopedic, neuro, pulmonary, cardiac, trauma, and pediatric applications, as well as CT angiography, endoscopy, and whole body CT imaging.

A wide range of components for X-ray tubes are being supplied by H.C.Starck Solutions that include rotating and stationar anodes, cathode cups, screws, custom parts, shafts and bar and powder materials and anti-scatter or detector plates for CT scanners. Detector plate assemblies make use of hundreds of ultra-thin (down to .002") molybdenum or tungsten plates, which H.C. Starck Solutions manufactures to extremely tight standards for flatness and surface finish.

The high-precision X-ray components of H.C.Starck Solutions guarantee optimal imaging results with the least possible exposure for patients. They make use of the material expertise in molybdenum cathode cups, screws, shafts, and tungsten stationary and rotating anodes, detector plate assemblies, and alloys such as TZM. These alloys are designed to deliver increased creep resistance at both low and high temperatures and to promote longer tube life.

Since H.C.Starck Solutions is involved in both therapeutic and diagnostic areas, the company is a major player in the development of new technologies and products. For instance, the company’s ability to develop flatter and thinner leaves of tungsten heavy metal alloys has allowed multi-leaf collimators to evolve from 40-leaf machines through 60-, 80-, and now, to 120-leaf collimators.

H.C. Starck Solutions’ Product for CT Scanners

H.C.Starck Solutions collaborates with manufacturers of CT scanners for developing high creep resistant alloy for rotating anodes.Multi-leaf collimators when combined with advanced software are the critical component in administering intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), which represents the new era of cancer therapy.

The cornerstone of intensity modulated radiation therapy is the linear accelerator. The operation of linear accelerators is well known and X-ray radiation is generated by accelerating electrons that are extracted off the surface of a heated metal disk.

The energy level of the electrons is boosted by accelerating the electrons through a vacuum chamber at almost the speed of light. These high energy electrons bombard a tungsten target, causing it to emit X-rays, which are focused through a multi-leaf collimator (MLC), which can contain from 60 to 120 tungsten leaves. The beams are not only shaped by the MLC to match the exact tumor shape, it is also used to vary their intensity to cover the 4-to-25 million volt (MV) spread of energy required to penetrate tumors.

H.C. Starck Fabricated Products

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by H.C. Starck Solutions.

For more information on this source, please visit H.C. Starck Solutions.

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