Bayer MaterialScience LLC of Pittsburgh continues to encourage the use of polycarbonate and PC/ABS blends as substitutes for PVC in some medical applications.
``We work to help hospitals to get PVC-free products,'' said George Paleos, market manager for medical, consumer and electrical/electronic uses with the North American PC business unit.
Bayer Corp. produces resin in Baytown, Texas, and does compounding in Newark, Ohio.
Future applications may involve medical stent coatings, composite materials to replace lead in radiation shielding and products addressing sick-house syndrome, Paleos said.
Bayer showed a variety of products at the Medical Design & Manufacturing West trade show, held Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Anaheim, Calif. Here are a few examples.
* A compact Angel whole blood processing system from Sorin Group SpA's Cobe Cardiovascular Inc. unit in Arvada, Colo., has a variable-volume separation chamber enabling clinicians to determine how much whole blood to process. The manifold, centrifuge plate and centrifuge lid are molded of Bayer's Makrolon 2558 PC.
* The Inogen One independent oxygen concentrator from Inogen Inc. of Goleta, Calif., has an external housing, blower funnel and battery sleeve made of Bayer's Bayblend FR 3001 PC/ABS and additives based on nanotechnology.
* The Kangaroo ePump enteral feeding pump from Tyco International Ltd.'s health-care segment in Mansfield, Mass., uses Makrolon PC in the anti-free-flow valves.
North American demand for PC is projected to grow 6-10 percent this year, according to Rainer Schorr, senior vice president with Bayer's North American PC unit.
Schorr said Bayer's 2005 Baytown PC capacity of 484 million pounds sold out, as did its 2004 capacity of 440 million pounds. Bayer added capacity in late 2004. A 44 million-pound Baytown capacity increase slated for 2007's first quarter will give Bayer global capacity of more than 2.2 billion pounds.
At a production site in Caojing near Shanghai, China, the business is constructing a PC manufacturing facility with initial production anticipated in 2006's third quarter. Bayer may add other PC capacity in China by the end of 2007, Schorr said. Once both China phases are completed, Bayer projects global PC capacity of 2.64 billion pounds.