PHILADELPHIA (June 1, 12:15 p.m. ET) — PolyOne Corp. has introduced a new tailored concentrate that delivers both anti-microbial properties and colorants.
Separately, the Avon Lake, Ohio-based company has also entered into an agreement with Kraton Performance Polymers Inc. to become the exclusive distributor in North America for the healthcare grades of Kraton's Cariflex polyisoprene rubber, a non-allergenic alternative to natural rubber.
“We have had SmartBatch materials where you blend additives and colorants for a long time,” said Larry Johnson, marketing director of healthcare for PolyOne, in an interview at the Medical Design & Manufacturing show, held May 22-24 in Philadelphia. “So it makes sense for us to add this anti-microbial brand extension because it will allow us to put colorants and anti-microbials together to provide a single-step solution for customers who now have to blend the two together on their own.”
The SmartBatch HC concentrate incorporates Polyone's WithStand anti-microbial technology into the colorant.
“There are a variety of medical applications where it can be used,” said Johnson—such as chair rails, catheters, lab ware, fitness equipment used in physical therapy, surgical tools, and housings on medical devices.
“Each application is a separate customized application” that is developed based on the end product application, the polymer and the environment in which the product will be used, Johnson said.
“SmartBatch HC concentrates can be used anywhere where medical devices bridge into the body as well as housings for medical devices,” he said. “Those are just some of the markets. We also see a lot of growth for use of anti-microbials in consumer goods and in home healthcare equipment.”
Johnson said combining the anti-microbial and colorant into a single concentrated form “is all about efficiency, lowering risks and saving customers' time. It reduces the risk of mistakes” that can occur during blending “and in healthcare, that's important,” he said.
PolyOne also said SmartBatch HC concentrates protect plastic devices used in hospitals against the growth of bacteria, fungi and algae that can lead to health-care acquired infections.
Johnson said the Kraton Cariflex isoprene rubber—the latest material added to its distribution portfolio—can be used as an alternative to natural rubber in healthcare applications that require resealability, puncture resistance and tear resistance. Among the potential product applications: medical stoppers, surgical gloves, catheters, medical tubing, needle shields and medical bags.
PolyOne said Cariflex has properties and processing capabilities similar to natural rubber—-but offers additional benefits such as high purity, excellent clarity, no fragmentation and low gel count. In addition, PolyOne said that Cariflex does not have the impurities found in natural materials that can cause discoloration, odor and allergic reactions.