Teknor Apex presents extensive portfolio of medical tubing compounds at MD&M West

Bringing its "polymer-neutral" approach to extruders of medical tubing, Teknor Apex (Pawtucket, RI) will present a comprehensive portfolio of medical-grade tubing compounds at MD&M West next month. In addition to its Apex flexible PVC, Flexalloy PVC elastomers and Medalist thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs), Tenor Apex will highlight the Apex SCR stress-crack-resistant rigid PVC compounds for tubing connectors at the event.

Organized by UBM, which also produces PlasticsToday, MD&M West is the largest medical manufacturing event in the United States and is co-located with PLASTEC West at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, from Feb. 9 to 11, 2016.

By presenting a highly diversified portfolio of medical tubing products, Teknor Apex can help customers "select exactly the right compound to meet a particular performance or regulatory requirement," said William J. Murray, President of Teknor Apex, in a prepared statement. "And regardless of which compounds they select, our customers benefit from the decades of medical-market experience that we draw on to assist them in solving problems or addressing new opportunities."


Teknor Apex will join hundreds of suppliers of products and services to the medical technology industry at the co-located MD&M West and PLASTEC West events coming to Anaheim, CA, from Feb. 9 to 11, 2016.


In addition to DEHP-containing compounds, the Apex line of PVC tubing compounds now also includes multiple non-DEHP- and non-phthalate-plasticized formulations, including high-heat-stable products.
Teknor Apex"As a producer of both plasticizers and PVC compounds, Teknor Apex has developed comprehensive data on plasticizer alternatives as a way to help our customers make informed decisions in addressing marketplace issues concerning phthalates," said Peter M. Galland, Vinyl Division, Industry Manager, Regulated Compounds. "We are prepared to work with tubing manufacturers no matter which alternatives they select."
The Apex line of tubing compounds also includes gamma-stable formulations. For especially demanding applications, such as tubing requiring high tensile strength, abrasion resistance or kink-resistance at low durometers, Teknor Apex also offers Flexalloy compounds, which are based on high-molecular-weight PVC polymer.
Apex rigid PVC products are available for molded tubing connectors. The newest of these are Apex SCR compounds, which provide strength comparable to polycarbonate (PC) or ABS and clarity while reducing or eliminating the stress cracking that often occurs in PC or ABS at the interface with flexible PVC tubing. Gamma-resistant grades are also available.
"Stress cracking is a problem that the medical device industry has had to deal with for decades," said Galland. "Apex SCR compounds provide a cost-effective way for the industry to address this problem without having to compromise end-use performance."
At MD&M West, Teknor Apex also will feature its portfolio of Medalist elastomers, which it has recently expanded and now includes alternatives to PVC, silicone and TPU for medical tubing.  
The Medalist product line for tubing includes 13 standard and specialty compounds, ranging from 37 to 83 Shore A and covering a spectrum of physical properties. Medalist elastomers are ISO 10993-5 compliant and plasticizer-free, with a low level of extractables. These grades are good candidates for single and multi-lumen tubing for catheters, IV, drug delivery, gas supply and chest drainage, according to the company. 

"Medalist elastomers are the first fully practical alternatives to materials long used for medical tubing," said Ross Van Royen, Senior Market Manager, Regulated Products, Thermoplastic Elastomer Division. "They mirror the clarity, haptics, physical properties, kink resistance and clamp resistance of PVC while exhibiting enhanced gamma stability and flexibility. And unlike silicone, they provide the processing ease and design freedom of thermoplastics, while avoiding concerns about extractables and curing agents posed by rubber. Further, compared with silicone and TPUs in this market space, Medalist compounds offer an economical advantage."

The newest of the Medalist tubing compounds is Medalist MD-16376, an optically clear 76 Shore A compound designed for solvent bonding to connectors.  Solvent bonding is one of the major reasons why medical device manufacturers were slow to accept TPEs in tubing applications, noted Van Royen. 

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