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Materials for electronic medical products meet drafted RoHS, WEEE revisions

Electronic medical products may be required to comply with more stringent laws in the near future, and a broad product line of “polymers for eco-friendly innovation” from Ticona Engineering Polymers (Florence, KY) helps designers select from grades that are all UL listed and RoHS, WEEE, and REACH compliant. The disposal of electrical and electronic products changed in June 2003 under WEEE, and the introduction of RoHS in July 2006 regulates the levels of hazardous substances, including certain brominated flame-retardants.

(Florence, KY) helps designers select from grades that are all UL listed and RoHS, WEEE, and REACH compliant. The disposal of electrical and electronic products changed in June 2003 under WEEE, and the introduction of RoHS in July 2006 regulates the levels of hazardous substances, including certain brominated flame-retardants.

Deven Patel, medical marketing manager for Ticona, notes, “The European Commission is currently drafting revised WEEE and RoHS directives to meet higher targets for the collection and recycling of waste electrical and electronic components, key end-use applications for Ticona’s [eco-friendly products]. Also, the draft revision to RoHS specifically covers medical device and monitoring and control instruments, which were excluded from the original directive.”

Ticona’s broad array of halogen-free, lead-free solderable and flame-resistant engineering thermoplastics that comply with current legislation and drafted revisions of the RoHS and WEEE directives includes: Celanex XFR thermoplastic polyester (PBT), Vectra liquid crystal polymer (LCP), Riteflex XFR thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPC-ET), and Fortron polyphenylene sulfide (PPS). These products also offer high safety performance with UL 94 V-0 flammability ratings. “This broad product line, already the materials of choice for use in electrical and electronic devices sold to environmentally conscious consumers, is now available to companies that need to design and market eco-friendly electronic medical devices,” says Patel.

The proprietary flame-retardant system in the enhanced Celanex XFR PBTs allows the material to act as a drop-in replacement for most PBTs without requiring design modifications, new molds, or significant tooling changes. Vectra LCP was introduced 22 years ago, but the product line has evolved to include grades allowing for thinner walls, higher production rates, higher temperature resistance, and recyclability. Ticona reports that Riteflex XFR is the only TPC-ET with a V-0 flammability rating at 1.5 mm for all colors, and that Fortron PPS satisfies the UL 94 V-0 flammability rating without the addition of flame retardants, making the material ideal for use in connectors, switches, and other applications where exacting electrical properties are required. [email protected]

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