The prevalence of polymers at this year's MD&M West and its co-located trade shows was unmistakable. Not only did plastics suppliers have a strong presence throughout Tuesday's presentation schedule at the Innovation Briefs Theater, they also seemed to dominate the trade show floor. In a smart strategy, plastics providers took advantage of the grand stage that is the largest medical device design and manufacturing event in the world by launching new products. And they meant business. From the show floor, MPMN reported on the expansion of NanoMed compounds for use in Pebax for minimally invasive catheters by PolyMedex Discovery Group (Putnam, CT). We also highlighted Teknor Apex Co.'s (Pawtucket, RI) launch of the Medalist MD-500-series compounds to replace PVC in various medical tubing applications. Also among the companies launching new products at the trade show, however, was Sabic Innovative Plastics (Pittsfield, MA). The supplier of engineering thermoplastics unveiled its high-performance antistatic LNP Stat-Loy compounds. Designed for use in inhalation devices, the compounds are engineered to improve drug dispensing and consistency of delivery. If incorporated, the compounds ensure that the complete dose is delivered to patients and is not reduced or lost owing to the presence of static electricity in the device. In addition to their antistatic properties, the compounds boast clarity and are avilable in ABS, PMMA/acrylic, and the company's Xylex resin, which is a polycarbonate-polyester alloy. They also offer impact strength and cleanability. While Sabic was addressing drug-delivery needs with its antistatic material, Solvay Advanced Polymers (Alpharetta, GA) was touting its new gamma-stabilized color options for its Ixef-brand polyarylamide (PARA). Allowing OEMs to replace metal single-use instruments and devices with plastics, the colorful line also promotes the development of distinct, aesthetically pleasing products. Featuring high stiffness and a smooth finish comparable to that achieved with painted metal, the Ixef GS-1022 is a 50% glass-fiber-reinforced compound. It is offered in white, dark gray, medium gray, light gray, blue, brown, green, and black options. Causing its own buzz on and off the trade show floor was Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, TN). The company was eager to spread the word about the latest addition to its portfolio of medical polymers. Optimized for rigid medical packaging, the Tritan MP100 copolyester builds on the attractive attributes of its copolyester 6763 for rigid packaging, including chemical resistance, clarity, and toughness. However, the company has improved upon the material to offer higher heat resistance, greater toughness, and good poststerilization clarity compared with competing polymers, according to the company. It maintains that these characteristics translate to faster EtO cycle times, reduced warping and sticking, faster validation, and longer shelf life than other polymers.
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