Automatic System Demonstrated at MD&M West Yields a Stronger Fit between TPE Tubing and Connectors than Is Achieved with Solvent Bonding of PVC Tubing
ANAHEIM, CA, U.S.A, February 12, 2013: An automatic fitting inserter developed by Clean Room Devices, LLC enables medical product manufacturers to obtain the advantages of Medalist® elastomers over PVC while increasing productivity in the assembly of tubing and connectors, it was announced at MD&M West by Teknor Apex Company (Booth 2526). Clean Room Devices is demonstrating its CRD 600 Automatic Fitting Inserter at Booth 2072 during MD&M West, carrying out high-speed assembly of tapered-barb connectors and tubing produced from Medalist MD-500 Series thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs).
“Tapered-barb connectors fit into the Medalist TPE tubing with a retention strength that exceeds the 35.6 N [8.0 lbf] level specified by most global OEMs for infusion systems and is greater than levels achieved with either adhesive or solvent bonding,” said Richard Faulkner, medical market manager for the Thermoplastic Elastomer Division of Teknor Apex. “The automatic fitting inserter developed by Clean Room Devices enables medical product manufacturers to obtain strong, secure connections even at very high assembly speeds.”The CRD 600 unit cycles at a rate of 2,300 per hour and, with the addition of a feeder bowl, enables an operator to make 1,800 insertions per hour, including time for handling the tubing and inspecting the results, according to Ronald Del Valle, president of Clean Room Devices.
“Because the CRD 600 allows for insertion of over-sized barbs into tubing with a smaller internal diameter, it ensures a stronger fit than solvent bonding,” Mr. Del Valle said. “A big advantage of our system is that it eliminates the presence of solvent chemicals and odors in the clean room.”Solvent bonding is the standard assembly technique for PVC tubing. Several assembly options are now available for tubing based on Medalist MD-500 TPEs. In addition to the insertion of barbed fittings, these include patent-pending, TPE-specific technologies developed by Teknor Apex for solvent bonding and for room-temperature and light-cured adhesive bonding.
Medalist MD-500 elastomers are in commercial use as alternatives to PVC in tubing applications. Compared with PVC, Medalist MD-500 compounds exhibit comparable crystal clarity and mechanical properties; provide similar clamp resilience and resistance to kinking and necking; have a similar “feel”; and are substantially more flexible and significantly less dense than PVC. At the same time they undergo minimal color shift upon heat aging after exposure to gamma irradiation, the most severe type of sterilization. A typical compound in the series, Medalist MD-575, actually exhibits 70% less heat-aged color shift than a gamma-stabilized PVC compound of comparable hardness.
Photo Caption: The CRD 600 Automatic Fitting Inserter, developed by Clean Room Devices, LLC, provides high-speed insertion of tapered-barb fittings into medical tubing based on Medalist® medical elastomers. Black component shown at the top of the device contains barbed fittings (white in color). Tubing is placed into the device through the U-shaped opening at bottom left and is clamped in position while fitting insertion takes place.