HONG KONG, August 12, 2014: A crystal clear medical elastomer from Teknor Apex has enabled a leading contract manufacturer of medical devices to replace PVC in a critical anesthesia component without sacrificing the assembly and handling advantages for which PVC tubing is well known.
Vincent Medical selected Medalist® MD-585 thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compound in response to the decision of an OEM customer to find an alternative to PVC for a gas sampling tube. This extruded item is a component of an anesthesia delivery and monitoring assembly through which the desired ratio of gases are sampled, measured, and delivered to the patient. The challenge in making the switch was to match or exceed PVC performance in extrusion, assembly, and clinical handling, noted Otto To, general manager of Vincent Medical.
“Teknor Apex was well positioned to work with us and our customer to identify the best alternative to PVC, since it is both a leading producer of medical-grade PVC compounds and the developer of an innovative family of medical-grade TPEs for many of the same applications,” said Mr. To. “Because the customer has enjoyed a good working partnership with Teknor Apex through years of using their Apex® PVC compounds, they felt very comfortable evaluating the company’s Medalist elastomers for the gas sampling tube.”
Teknor Apex also brought to the project a combination of local and global capabilities, according to Elliott Pritikin, senior marketing manager for Teknor Apex in the Asia Pacific region. “While our company-wide medical team draws on experience in all of the world’s key markets , we provide comprehensive support to our Asian customers from our regional headquarters in Singapore and—in the case of Vincent Medical—from our commercial and technical staff in southern China,” said Mr. Pritikin. “While switching from PVC to TPE posed a challenge to traditional methods of bonding tubing to connectors, for example, our local team collaborated with Vincent Medical at their Donguan, China plant to develop a connector solution that ultimately exceeded the OEM’s requirements.”
At the Vincent Medical facility, the Medalist MD-585 compound processed efficiently, exhibiting easy startups, tight tolerances, and high speeds with minimal downtime, according to Mr. To. “The consistency of the material supplied to us made it possible to fine-tune our extrusion process and assembly operation,” he said. “The surface feel and lubricity of the Medalist-based tube was similar to that of PVC—a benefit for our own operators and the healthcare professionals who will ultimately use the product. Its kink-resistance was also similar to that of PVC, and superior to that of other PVC alternatives.”
The Medalist MD-585 compound is part of the Medalist MD-500 Series of elastomers, which Teknor Apex developed to be the first fully practical alternatives to PVC in medical tubing. These compounds exhibit crystal clarity and mechanical properties comparable to those of PVC; provide similar clamp resilience and resistance to kinking and necking; have a PVC-like “feel”; and are substantially more flexible and significantly less dense. At the same time they undergo minimal color shift upon heat aging after exposure to gamma irradiation, the most severe type of sterilization.
Vincent Medical is an FDA-, ISO-, and GMP-compliant medical device contract manufacturer that serves clients by producing their branded products to specifications in a safe, proven, repeatable environment . The operation is fully vertically integrated on-site in to produce a turnkey “ready for sale” complete product. With offices in Hong Kong, China and US, Vincent Medical serves leading multi-national medical device OEMS. It also assists clients in expanding their global presence by co-marketing their products in emerging markets with the Inspired Medical brand of respiratory products.
About Teknor Apex. Teknor Apex Company, a privately held firm founded in 1924, is one of the world’s leading custom compounders of plastics . Teknor Apex produces flexible and rigid vinyl, thermoplastic elastomers, nylons, toll and specialty compounds, color masterbatches, specialty chemicals
, bioplastics and hoses. The company is headquartered in Pawtucket, RI, U.S.A. and operates thirteen facilities worldwide in the United States, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, China and Singapore.
More Information:- www.teknorapex.com.