The aim of the study presented herein was to investigate the possibility of employing composites in the production of medical diagnostic equipments, and their advantages in terms of costs and performances. In particular, the patient-positioning system of a magnetic resonance apparatus, comprising two elements, the bed tables, and the footrest, was examined with the main goal of enabling a wider range of population to be tested, thanks to a full re-designing of their item. An extensive variety of composites were investigated, in order to select a combination of matrix and reinforcement able to satisfy the specific requirements in terms of magnetic transparency, structural behavior, manufacturing features, and costs. Glass fiber composites were selected and characterized by experimental tests. The patient-positioning system was completely re-designed and analyzed by finite elements method; design optimization led to a simplified structure, offering a series of advantages such as light weight, manoeuvrability, thickness reduction, and cost-saving processes. Final full-scale prototypes were realized and tested according to the Medical Security procedures, achieving as main results not only a reduction of the total production cost, but also an increase in the percentage of people that can be scanned by this magnetic resonance apparatus.
- finite element
- magnetic resonance apparatus