Earlier this month, medical-grade KetaSpire was selected by U.S. manufacturer Malema Sensors to make SumoFlo-brand single-use Coriolis flow meters, which officials said are critical for vaccine production.
Malema chose Solvay's high-performance resins because of their exceptional physical properties, officials added. The grades selected meet USP Class VI requirements, withstand gamma sterilization and ensure extremely low leachables and extractables for high cleanliness.
Gamma-sterilizable flow meters have allowed biopharmaceutical firms to accelerate mass production of COVID-19 vaccines. Malema is the world's only maker of Coriolis flowmeters with an all-plastic wetted path.
"The transition from stainless-steel bioprocessing infrastructure to single-use components underscores the growing importance of high-performance thermoplastics to the health care industry," Anna Maria Bertasa, health care global marketing manager for Solvay Specialty Polymers, said in a news release.
She added that KetaSpire meets the stringent requirements of Malema's Coriolis flow meters, helping the company to stand out from competitors and support industry initiatives such as rapid scale-up of vaccine manufacturing.
In September, Solvay completed construction of a new production line making thermoplastic composites at its Piedmont, S.C., site. Officials said that at full capacity, the new line will add more than 30 jobs at the 27,000-square-foot Greenville County plant.
Officials added that the project represents a major milestone Solvay's efforts to industrialize its composite capacity. A key driver for the facility is growing demand from energy companies, supported by increasing aerospace and automotive demand, they said.
The new line will be able to make unidirectional composite tape from a range of high-performance polymers including polyvinylidene fluoride, polyphenylene sulfide and PEEK.
Other recent growth moves for Solvay include added capacity for composite tape in Anaheim, Calif., and the opening of new research and innovation centers in Brussels and in Alpharetta, Ga.
Solvay is a global supplier of plastics and specialty chemicals. Solvay employs more than 23,000 worldwide and posted sales of $10.8 billion in 2020.