Packaging engineers in the healthcare world are likely quite familiar with the traditional polyester/polyethylene/Tyvek pouch or rigid tray/Tyvek lid material options for sterile barrier systems, Henk Blom, Vice President of Research & Technology for PAXXUS, told MD+DI. “But there are many more material options for medical device packaging—for instance, some applications require highly engineered multilayer structures to meet demanding requirements,” he explained.
One of those material layers—the sealant layer—is often the most misunderstood, Blom said. For instance, there is a difference between a sealant and an adhesive, but the terms are often misused, he said. There may also be some confusion around weld versus peelable seals and cohesive versus adhesive peels.
Blom will explore the details behind the science of seal technology in the October 13 webinar, “The Material Science of Sealant Design for Sterile Medical Packaging.” He will examine the basics of designing flexible material structures along with the types of sealants available for use in sterile barrier systems, which include metallocenes, polyethylene copolymers (such as ethylene vinyl acetate, which Blom calls the “workhorse” sealant), polypropylenes, amorphous polyester, and polybutylene. He will also explore advanced sealant chemistries and explain how sealant selection and design depend upon the needs of the application.
Blom will show attendees how to generate and use a heat seal curve. Selecting the right sealant for your application should enable “a nice wide, flat sealing window, which makes it far easier to validate the process and consistently meet seal-strength specifications,” he said. Otherwise, “if a slight temperature increase changes a given material’s seal strength, it makes it challenging to hit the sweet spot needed to meet the seal strength specification.”
Throughout the webinar, he will share several “pro-tips” and “do’s and don’ts” on heat sealing. For instance, he will caution attendees against the “tendency to throw in more time, heat, and pressure in order to solve a sealing issue” and explain other ways to approach such challenges.
You don’t want to miss “The Material Science of Sealant Design for Sterile Medical Packaging,” and be sure to bring your material science and heat sealing questions to pose to Blom.