Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan of Mountain View, Calif., recognized several plastics-related technologies for excellence in 2005.
Danisco A/S won an Award for Excellence in Research for a vegetable oil-based plasticizer it said can replace phthalates in flexible vinyl. Grindsted Soft-N-Safe can be used directly in PVC processing without the need for equipment modification, according to the Copenhagen, Denmark, firm.
The material's high cost narrows potential applications to consumer products where there may be concerns about phthalates' safety.
Invibio Ltd. received Frost & Sullivan's Product Innovation of the Year Award for polymeric materials used in medical implants. Peek-Optima is used in long-term implants such as heart valves, suture anchors and dental products. The material, a semicrystalline thermoplastic, combines strength with processability to form various shapes.
With additives, Peek-Optima can be tailored to the application: Barium sulfate can make it opaque to X-rays, while carbon fibers make it stronger. Invibio of Thornton, England, is a unit of Victrex plc, also in Thornton.
Supreme Corq LLC won the Business Development Strategy Leadership Award for the U.S. caps and closures market. The Kent, Wash., firm led growth and market penetration of synthetic corks in wine and related markets. It has capitalized on demand for corks that do not taint wine, and has overcome initial objections to cork substitutes.
Bespak plc of London won the Technology Innovation Award for leadership in the U.S. medical inhaler market.
Its designs promise to be the first used in a new insulin inhaler system proposed by Pfizer as a noninvasive insulin-delivery option. Bespak valves helped pave the way for medical devices based on new solvents, such as chlorofluorocarbon replacement hydrofluoroalkane, and for dry-powder inhalers.