Anaheim, Calif. — Eastman Chemical Co. emphasized the value of a disinfectant-ready polymer for health care environments at the Feb. 6-8 UBM Advanced Manufacturing Expo.
“If a patient is infected, a hospital needs to use a lot of bleach” that can badly degrade legacy plastics, said Ellen Turner, global market development manager for specialty plastics in Eastman's medical device section.
The Kingsport, Tenn.-based advanced materials and specialty additives company showed how Eastman's next-generation MXF221 copolyester can withstand disinfectants used to fight infection.
The compounded polymer is suitable for electronic medical device housings and hardware, in particular with its ability to withstand stickiness, discoloration, crazing, cracking and hazing.
Material specifiers now can use an Eastman-created test to identify vulnerabilities in legacy materials and provide helpful data to support a change to an alternative material. Yubiao Liu developed the test. He is the global technical platform lead for specialty plastics in the medical device section.
For evaluation of surface compatibility, Liu developed the non-proprietary four-step test protocol based on technical standards of ASTM International. No comparable relevant industry standards exist now.
Eastman said the results can help predict the reliability of a material after exposure to disinfectants, lipids, drugs or drug-carrier solvents.
In a related activity, Eastman, Arburg Inc. and Synventive Molding Solutions Inc. collaborated for a Feb. 7 Tritan on Tour workshop in the Irvine, Calif., technology center of injection molding machine maker Arburg.
The workshop was subtitled “Material. Mold. Machine.” and is part of an Eastman initiative to educate design and quality engineers on how the right polymer can prevent device failure due to disinfectant damage.
Eastman has scheduled additional 2018 Tritan on Tour workshops July 17 at Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pa., and Sept. 11 in the Circle Pines, Minn., facility of custom injection molder Advanced Molding Technologies.
Eastman also will exhibit in meeting room S230D on the south hall's level 2 during the May 7-11 NPE2018 in Orlando, Fla.