New medical-grade polymers By
Eastman Chemical Co recently
announced that it is launching medical grades copolyester. Scott Hanson, the
company’s global industry leader, noted that the material was introduced in late
2007 to consumer markets for use in reusable sports water bottles, infant care,
and houseware products. Now it is being aimed at applications such as IV system
components, and respiratory and blood therapy devices, offering a balance of
design, molding, and end-product properties for medical devices. Eastman plans
to sell the copolyetser resin to both injection-molders and directly to medical
device manufacturers that have in-house injection-molding capabilities.
The medical-grade polymers are
designed to provide lipid and chemical resistance (important in hospitals where
devices may be subjected to harsh cleaners, and in home care applications where
the resin withstands cleaning in dishwashers), high heat stability, easy
processing, clarity, durability, and toughness. Hanson said that the material (
Tritan ) is made without bisphenol-A (BPA) or halogens. He noted that the Food
and Drug Administration was in the process of acquiring information about
medical devices that may contain BPA.
Hanson added that Tritan resins
are cost-competitive with acrylics and polycarbonates, and may be processed with
the same tooling used for copolyesters. The company is looking into
pharmaceutical applications for Tritan as well.