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The battle for flexible medical applications continues with a development in a new  thermoplastic  elastomer.

December 7, 2011

2 Min Read
SEBS copolymer can be molded for  assemblies

The battle for flexible medical applications continues with a development in a new  thermoplastic  elastomer.

Previously available only in tubing form, thermoplastic elastomer from AdvantaFlex (Southampton, PA) is now offered as molded components for biopharmaceutical manifold assembly applications. Wyes (Y), tees (T),

AdvantaPure-AdvantaFlex-junctures.jpg

Availability of molded TPE allows use of single-resin assemblies.

cross (X) connectors, and reducer connectors, as well as sanitary ends and container closures, allow for single resin validation and one material contact surface. AdvantaFlex molded assemblies are said to eliminate most barbed fitting connections and their leak potential while they provide an alternative to silicone.

"AdvantaFlex has been gaining ground in the market," says John Stover, AdvantaPure's product technical director. "The addition of molded connections and container seals makes it that much more attractive to customers who need an alternative to silicone but still want a batch fill or sampling manifold with molded connections and only one fluid contact surface."

Avoid errors

One reason a single resin system is desirable is because it helps avoid operator errors. Other tubing often involves splicing sections of silicone tubing into a process line to run it through a peristaltic pump. Mistakes can be made when the wrong tubing is then inserted into the pump, resulting in wasted product, time, labor, and significant dollars. Using one material like AdvantaFlex for an entire single use system eliminates such errors. It also means that only one resin validation is required.

According to AdvantaPure, another benefit is the elimination of barbed fittings and their possibility for leaks and contamination. Molded connections provide a crevice-free, seamless transition for continuous, unrestricted flow. Rough-cut cable ties and their potential for damage are also removed from these critical biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical process applications.

Tubing assemblies are custom made to specifications.. Both mini and standard hygienic clamp unions (commonly known as Tri-Clamp or sanitary ends) are also offered. All styles range in sizes from 0.125-inch internal diameter (I.D.)  to .750-inch outer diameter (O.D.) Other sizes are in development.  AdvantaFlex is based on styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene (SEBS) block copolymer.

Use of silicone and thermoplastic elastomers are both growing at about 6% annually in North America. AdvantaPure also make silicone and fluoropolymer tubing for the medical market.

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