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Elastomer Manufacturer Stretches Its Imagination

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Elastomer Manufacturer Stretches Its Imagination
Shana Leonard
A company’s thermoplastic elastomers
can replace PVC and silicone in some applications.
GLS Corp. (McHenry, IL) has introduced a series of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) designed to replace polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and silicone-based elastomers in medical applications. Because of a negative safety perception of the material, some manufacturers are seeking alternatives to PVC, especially in the infant care industry. Other manufacturers are seeking alternatives to silicone in order to reduce production costs or increase design flexibility. GLS Corp.’s TPEs feature many of the favorable characteristics of these materials in a solution that is potentially safer than PVC and cheaper than silicone, according to the company. Thermoplastic elastomers are suited for a variety of medical applications, including medical tubing, elastomeric sheet and film products, and medical devices.

A single TPE compound’s inability to offer both clarity and heat resistance in a single medical grade acted as a deterrent for many product designers and engineers in the past. However, the Versaflex CL2200 alloys feature these favorable characteristics in addition to good bite-and-tear resistance. The TPEs are also adjustable for hardness, are colorable, and are capable of adhesion to polypropylene. Other benefits of the alloy include the abilities to be both recycled and sterilized.

In order to generate interest in the product, GLS Corp. is distributing an enhanced product brochure that incorporates a free sample of Versaflex CL2250 into its design. This marketing maneuver not only provides potential customers with information but demonstrates the product’s capabilities as well. The free samples enable customers to evaluate the durability of the material through tactile tests, rather than simply relying on a company’s advertising.

“In our business, what we’re targeting is aesthetics,” says Walt Ripple, director of sales and marketing for GLS Corp. “It’s hard to describe features like the silky feel; you need to have the sample so that you can see, feel, and experience the product.”

Copyright ©2006 Medical Product Manufacturing News
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