Kydex LLC, formerly Kleerdex Co. LLC, is finding a growing market for its thermoplastic sheet made with proprietary Microban antimicrobial protection for medical-device equipment.
We were testing the market to see what kind of response we would get from thermoformers, and it has really taken off. It is a bright spot in a really challenging time, Ronn Cort, international business manager at Bloomsburg, Pa.-based Kydex, said in a recent telephone interview.
Kydex has exclusive rights to produce thermoplastic sheets with Microban for health-care equipment enclosures and airline interior components.
Microban is a trademarked product offered by Microban International Ltd., based in Huntersville, N.C.
Cort said the material is being used in covers for large testing machines. Antimicrobial protection is also being used for such things as furniture in hospitals and medical offices, serving counters, self-serve kiosks and food-processing machines.
In many cases, Cort said, customers want the quality of injection molding, but do not need high-volume runs. For those situations, he said, pressure forming fits the bill.
He said Kydex currently offers six different grades of the product and all are application-specific, but we continuing to expand the line.
The company added a production line last year in anticipation of the rollout, but can make sheet incorporating Microban additives on all of its lines.
Kydex grades have been well-received in Europe, Cort said, noting that 30 percent of sales are outside North America. Sales in Switzerland and Germany have been particularly strong, he said.
The firm recently introduced Kydex FST, which is fully compliant for Boeing and Airbus flame-smoke-toxicity requirements.
Kydex recently changed its name from Kleerdex to reflect that it makes Kydex sheet. Kleerdex was formed in 1987 and sells the Kydex brand worldwide. The company's headquarters, manufacturing, customer service and research and development facilities are in Bloomsburg. It also maintains administrative offices in Mount Laurel, N.J., and Reno, Nev.
The company employs 151. Its sheet is used for thermoforming, membrane pressing, laminating and the fabrication of damage-resistant components.
End uses include such items as aircraft interiors, mass-transit components and medical products.