High-speed extrusion run of PVC-free medical tubing demonstrated
American Kuhne, a worldwide supplier of extrusion lines, teamed up with
diversified plastics compounder Teknor Apex to display a PVC-free medical tubing extrusion line at American Kuhne’s Spring Open House on May 25, the companies announced jointly at the recent Medical Design & Manufacturing East 2011 exposition in New York City, the US.
Processing Teknor Apex’s Medalist medical elastomer, the high speed extrusion line ran a 0.105″ (2.67mm) OD x 0.020″ (0.508mm) wall tube up to 830ft/min (253m/min) line speed. At 600ft/min (183ft/min) line speed, tight tolerances of +/-0.0004″ on the OD and +/-0.0001″ on the wall thickness were held.
The extrusion system consisted of an American Kuhne’s Ultra series 2.0″ (50mm) extruder with AKcess Level II Touchscreen System; inline spiral flow die head; Conair multi-pass vacuum tank with servo driven wheel to minimize the rubber band effect and to minimize tension within the process; servo driven nip roller puller; automatic cut and transfer coiler and a Zumbach ID/OD/WALL tube measurement system with closed-loop control of the OD and wall thickness. The compound used in this run was MD-585, an 83 Shore A compound that is part of the Medalist MD-500 series for tubing applications.
Tekenor Apex’s Medalist MD-500 compounds yield tubing that looks and handles very like PVC
“American Kuhne is a premiere supplier of extrusion systems and has great expertise in the technology for producing medical tubing,” noted Nick Sandland, Senior Medical Marketing Manager for the Thermoplastic Elastomer Division of Teknor Apex. “The company’s flawless high-speed demonstration run of our Medalist elastomer adds new confirmation that MD-500 series tubing compounds truly are fully practical alternatives to PVC.”
The American Kuhne Spring Medical Seminar and Open House offered participants technical knowledge and processing tips about medical extrusion. The two-day event attracted over 80 participants.
“The Medalist material was easy to handle while stringing up the line and also while coiling at the end of the line,” said Steve Maxson, Vice President for Extrusion Systems of American Kuhne. “The material is extremely forgiving, with very stable processing conditions at high extruder output levels, which means that tight tolerance levels can be achieved at very high production line speeds.”
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