Plastics News reporter Steve Toloken gathered the following news briefs from the Medical Design and Manufacturing West show, held January 6-8 in Anaheim, Calif.
Tekni-Plex making phthalate-free tubes
Tekni-Plex Inc. has started manufacturing a phthalate-free line of medical tubing for drug delivery and other unstable solutions.
The firm is seeing increasing interest in alternatives to phthalates in PVC tubing, in part because California recently decided to list di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate as a reproductive toxin under its Proposition 65 labeling legislation, according to Bob Donohue, engineering manager with Tekni-Plex's Natvar division in City of Industry, Calif.
``It's a stronger push [from customers] than in past years,'' he said.
The trilayer tubing uses a thermoplastic elastomer to replace an outer layer of PVC. The inner layer is polyethylene, and the middle layer is a proprietary adhesive. The tubing can withstand the same solvent or adhesive bonding as PVC, the company said.
Donohue said he thinks the new product will replace 80 percent of the three-layer tubing the company currently makes using PVC.
New PVC compound resists heat better
Compounder Teknor Apex Co. is introducing an improved heat-resistant PVC compound for both tubing and injection molding.
Teknor, based in Pawtucket, R.I., said the Apex material uses heat stabilizers that are heavy-metal-free and have greater resistance to heat-related discoloration or degradation.
Traditionally, medical PVC has not been able to use the most-efficient stabilizers like barium-zinc because of regulatory restrictions on heavy metals in medical products, said Peter Galland, industry manager for Teknor's vinyl division.
The new compounds provide similar color and heat stability as heavy-metal alternatives, he said.
* Trademark Plastics Inc. has added its first vertical injection press. The Riverside, Calif., firm now has 35 injection presses. ... Injection molder APEC Inc. in Irwindale, Calif., has added a two-shot machine capable of molding thermoplastic to silicone. ... Plastics Engineering & Development Inc. has received a license to manufacture medical devices from the California Department of Health Services. ... Film producer Solvay Draka is adding a new clean room, its third, to its plant in Commerce, Calif. ... All four of Amcor Flexibles Healthcare Inc.'s plants in the United States have achieved ISO 13485 certification. ... UTI Corp. has opened a prototyping and engineering development center at its Collegeville, Pa., headquarters. ... Bunzl Extrusion Inc. of Richmond, Va., is adding a Class 100,000 clean room at its Phoenix plant to manufacture medical tubing. The firm previously served Western medical markets from several plants in Massachusetts.