Some medical original equipment manufacturers have looked at thermoplastic elastomers as potential replacements for PVC, but the difficulty in radio-frequency welding of TPEs has been a drawback.
Now McHenry-based PolyOne GLS Thermoplastic Elastomers, and Genesis Plastics Welding have announced what they're calling a breakthrough that will allow TPEs to replace PVC in medical fluid-delivery applications, including bags and tubing.
According to PolyOne, the process enables GLS Versaflex TPEs to be RF welded into any two-dimensional shape or configuration, including mandrels.
The ecoGenesis technology enables non-phthalate, low-dielectric-loss material to be RF welded. Potential applications include infusion kits, blood-transfer and drainage bags, and urinary bags.
With ecoGenesis, manufacturers can use materials such as PolyOne's Versaflex TPEs in RF welding just like PVC, often providing improved cost savings and a more environmentally friendly product, said Tom Ryder, president and CEO for Indianapolis-based Genesis Plastics Welding, in a news release.