PVC or not PVC? If that is the question, Teknor Apex (Singapore) says it has the answer for customers in the medical sector. The compounder has restructured its product portfolio to offer medical device designers and manufacturers an expansive range of raw material options, an approach that it is calling a polymer -neutral medical market strategy. The company will introduce the concept at MEDTEC China, which returns to Shanghai in September 2014.
“In light of recent regulatory pressures, medical device manufacturers are seeking the path of least resistance in selecting plastic raw materials without sacrificing performance and without straying far from historical economics,” says Peter M. Galland, Medical Industry Manager, Vinyl Div. “Teknor Apex has addressed these market needs by developing a complete and broad-based array of solutions that includes a diverse portfolio of PVC options and a fast-growing family of TPE alternatives to PVC.”
A 40-year supplier to the medical device industry, Teknor Apex offers thousands of compounds to satisfy global and regional regulatory, industry, and customer specifications. The materials can be produced in plants around the world, and provide identical performance and code compliance no matter where in the world they are used.
The company’s Apex family of flexible vinyl molding and extrusion compounds includes numerous gamma-stable, DEHP- and phthalate-free options. Clear rigid compounds are available for tubing connectors, luer locks, valves, and other medical components. Vital-Line medical-grade PVC compounds, originally developed by the Asia-Pacific technical team, are available throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Flexalloy ultra-high molecular weight PVC elastomers provide toughness and stability at temperature extremes.
The Medalist product line includes styrenics, thermoplastic vulcanizates, olefinics, and other specialty alloys. These medical elastomers can be processed on conventional injection molding and extrusion equipment, while certain grades are formulated to bond to engineering resins via two-shot overmolding or coextrusion. Standard Medalist grades are in compliance with ISO 10993-5 cytotoxicity standards and are free of animal-derived materials, BPA, phthalates, and latex.
The polymer-neutral approach provides customers with the best compound for a target application in the respective global region, according to Elliott Pritikin, Senior Marketing Manager for the Asia-Pacific region. “The breadth of our technology portfolio also enables customers to purchase multiple compounds from Teknor Apex, obtaining the logistical advantages of single-sourcing as well as access to our company’s decades of experience working with customers in medical applications,” he adds in a press release.
The company’s medical-grade PVC portfolio is supported by the company’s plasticizer capabilities—it is the only vinyl custom compounder to also produce plasticizers, according to Galland. “This enables us to build product consistency and economy into our compounds and provides a distinct advantage in developing innovative formulations that meet the challenge of new applications,” says Galland.
Most recently this plasticizer expertise has enabled Teknor Apex to publish an intoductory guide to the alternatives available to compounds plasticized with DEHP.