Materials maker Sabic is unveiling a new grade of polycarbonate copolymers for medical uses at this year's Medical Design & Manufacturing West 2020 trade show in Anaheim, Calif.
The new Elcres CRX materials are part of Sabic's line of LNP Specialty Compounds. The PC copolymers are aimed at preventing stress cracking on medical devices that are often cleaned with strong disinfectants, officials said in a news release.
Disinfectants are used to reduce the chance of hospital-acquired infections, but they can have the unintended side effects of damaging devices or equipment, they added.
"More stringent and aggressive cleaners are being used, and they're being used more frequently," Darpan Parikh, LNP global product management leader, said in a Feb. 7 phone interview. With the new Elcres CRX materials, Sabic "has improved performance significantly vs. other copolymers."
Parikh added that the Elcres CRX line can be used as a drop-in with other materials and can be used on existing molds and tools. Medical devices that can be made with the new materials include hand-held diagnostic devices, drug infusion pumps and ultrasound and X-ray equipment.
The initial Elcres CRX portfolio includes both amorphous blends of PC copolymer and PC resin, as well as a semicrystalline blend of PC copolymer and PBT resin. The material building blocks of these grades have been prescreened for limited biocompatibility, officials said. The portfolio also contains flame-retardant versions. All of the new grades are opaque and can be custom colored.
Elcres CRX copolymers are being introduced in North America first and later will be launched in Europe and Asia. They'll be produced globally. The materials will be available for testing and sampling later this month, Parikh said, adding that the new grades "fill an unmet need in the marketplace."
Sabic is one of the world's largest producers of commodity and specialty resins, including polycarbonate. The firm is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with North American headquarters in Houston.