WESTLAKE, OHIO (July 3, 1:10 p.m. ET) — The attraction of the medical market remains a strong one for plastic materials firms. You can put PolyOne Corp., Daikin America Inc. and Teknor Apex Co. on the list of companies looking to expand their presence in that market.
Officials with those firms spoke at Plastics in Medical Devices 2012, a June 12-13 conference hosted by Plastics News in Westlake.
PolyOne in Avon Lake, Ohio, is finding opportunities for its Geon HC rigid PVC compounds as a result of the startling trend of hospital-acquired infections, or HAIs.
Concerns about health risks alleged for PVC and its plasticizers have led to bans from medical firms such as Kaiser Permanente and commercial giants like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Apple Inc.
In comparison testing, Pritikin said Medalist TPEs — which contain no phthalates, as some types of PVC do — have shown similar clarity and kink resistance to PVC in tubing products, while offering better elongation and 30-35 percent weight savings.
Medalist also showed better color-change performance than PVC in films, pouches and bags, according to Pritikin. In medical cable jacketing, Medalist can provide excellent electrical and flame-retardant performance, he added. Medalist TPEs also are being marketed as an alternative to natural-rubber latex and thermoset rubber, offering cost and scrap reduction and faster cycle times. Unlike rubber latex, Medalist has no issues with allergies, extractables or odor, Pritikin said.
“There's been negative momentum for some traditional materials, and that's put undue pressure on the medical-device industry,” he added.