Natvar Corp. said its transparent Sure Bond-brand medical tubing constitutes an advance in “green” technology, by incorporating Clearweld additive technology from Gentex Corp. and an Ecdel elastomer from Eastman Chemical Co.
The Clearweld process avoids the need for solvent or adhesive bonding. The laser-absorbing additives are compounded into the resin, resolving environmental issues such as emissions and harmful chemicals. It also eliminates a requirement for ultraviolet curing time in laser welding tubing and other parts. Bonding can leave behind residual material.
Using Ecdel for the outer layer provides clarity and joint strength, Natvar said. Production began in August at Natvar's Clayton, N.C., plant. Natvar is a subsidiary of Tekni-Plex Inc. of Somerville, N.J.
Sure Bond tubing can be laser welded to transparent components for use in medical applications including intravenous therapy, hemodialysis and cardiovascular treatment. Medical personnel need clear tubing to monitor fluids being administered to patients.
Gentex of Carbondale, Pa., licensed its Clearweld technology to Natvar. Colorless organic near-infrared-absorbing additives focus and convert laser energy into heat and lead to the formation of hermetically sealed welds at the laser and tube interface.
Kings¼port, Tenn.-based Eastman began collaborating with Natvar and Gentex in January, and the firms selected Eastman's orthophthalate-free Ecdel copolyester elastomer as the outer layer for Natvar's coextruded 252 trilayer tubing for delivering unstable medications.
The inner polyethylene layer prevents absorp¼tion; the proprietary middle layer provides adhesion; and the outer Ecdel layer facilitates bonding, the firms said.
Colorite Polymers, a Tekni-Plex division, in Ridgefield, N.J., compounds the additives and PVC for extrusion into Sure Bond tubing.
Tel. 919-553-4151, fax 919-553-4156, e-mail: [email protected]