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Multicomponent System Balances Cure Speed and Shelf Life

Originally Published MPMN January/February 2003

INDUSTRY NEWS

Multicomponent System Balances Cure Speed and Shelf Life

Elaine Paoloni

A multicomponent cure system for GE Silicones' Tufel II line of elastomers optimizes the extrusion of thick-wall tubing.

A two-part cure system for the Tufel II line of translucent, addition-cure elastomers from GE Silicones (Waterford, NY; www.healthcare-silicones.com) provides customers with a high degree of flexibility. The system, which consists of the new IN-7 inhibitor and CA-7 platinum catalyst master batches, allows users to balance product cure speed and shelf life.

"Fabricators can vary the ratio of CA-7 catalyst to IN-7 inhibitor, within recommended limits, to optimize their cure speed," says Eric Bishop, GE Silicones healthcare industry manager. "Adding more CA-7 will accelerate the cure and allow for increased extrusion line speed. Adding more IN-7 will slow the cure and extend the mixed shelf life of the blended compound. As a result, fabricators have more flexibility than with our CA-6 one-component cure system," he adds. With such latitude, customers can meet specific equipment requirements and produce particular extrusion-profile configurations.

The greatest benefits of the multicomponent cure system, according to Bishop, are realized in silicone tubing applications--especially those that require thick-wall tubing, such as the high-pressure transfer of materials via pumps and in ophthalmic usages. "In addition to the cost savings generated by the potential productivity gains, many customers have reported an improvement in the porosity of thick-wall tubing," says Bishop.

Both IN-7 inhibitor and CA-7 catalyst master batches are supplied in 7-lb quantities, sufficient to mix with 1000 lb of Tufel II base silicone elastomer. Specific formulations are provided in a product data sheet available online at the company's Web site. Combining IN-7 and CA-7 with any of the five Tufel II bases maintains the original USP Class VI compliance status of the elastomer bases, if used in accordance with information on the product data sheet.

Copyright ©2003 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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