Halloween may be over, but materials maker Teknor Apex Co. is still focused on masks.
But officials with Pawtucket, R.I.-based Teknor are talking about medical masks — not that werewolf mask that looked like a good idea at the time but turned out to be really hot and hard to see out of.
New medical thermoplastic elastomer compounds from Teknor for injection molded face masks and cushions offer performance and cost advantages over PVC and silicones, officials said in a recent news release.
They added that flexible masks made of clear Medalist-brand 50100 series TPEs retain their shape in packing and storage. New grades of Medalist 10100 series gels also provide secure cushions for rigid polypropylene masks, officials said.
Teknor will introduce the new compounds at the upcoming MD&M West trade show, Feb. 6-8 in Anaheim, Calif.
"More and more, medical device OEMs are choosing Medalist as an alternative to both PVC and silicone for face masks," Teknor executive Ross van Royen said in the release. Van Royen is senior market manager of regulated products for the firm's TPE Division.
He added that, in flexible mask applications, the new Medalist grades provide the same clarity and flexibility as PVC, but with better deformation resistance. They also can be used as "more economical alternatives" to silicone face masks, van Royen said.
Teknor produces Medalist compounds at plants in the U.S. and Singapore. The new materials comply with FDA requirements for food-grade ingredients.
Teknor employs more than 2,000 worldwide and has annual sales of more than $600 million. In North America, Teknor is one of the region's 30 largest makers of compounds and concentrates, according to Plastics News data.