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The Saint-Gobain Seals Group (Garden Grove, CA) is serious about sustainability, which it defines in expansive terms. The company recently touted the use of its Rulon fluoropolymer-based material in a handheld surgical tool as a "sustainable solution." When I asked the group's Don Munro, Market Manager, Life Sciences, what precisely was sustainable about the material and its application in this product, he had a ready response.

Norbert Sparrow

January 21, 2014

2 Min Read
Saint-Gobain brings sustainability to surgical suite

The Saint-Gobain Seals Group (Garden Grove, CA) is serious about sustainability, which it defines in expansive terms. The company recently touted the use of its Rulon fluoropolymer-based material in a handheld surgical tool as a "sustainable solution." When I asked the group's Don Munro, Market Manager, Life Sciences, what precisely was sustainable about the material and its application in this product, he had a ready response.

saint-gobain-rulon-250.jpg"In our line of business that deals with engineering and manufacturing, sustainable means achieving long life for the product. Our sealing solutions have been manufactured and custom-designed to be long-term solutions with critical benefits such as friction control, chemical compatibility, material compliance, and weight reduction," says Munro. All of these properties contribute to the sustainability of the product, he adds.

Saint-Gobain Seals Group is a key supplier of Rulon components for harmonic scalpels. These scalpels use ultrasonic technology to simultaneously cut and coagulate tissue. Compared with conventional metal scalpels and electrosurgical devices, harmonic scalpels feature improved precision, fewer instrument changes, more power and efficiency for cutting through thick tissue, and better field of vision for the surgeon because less smoke is produced during the procedure. Rulon's frictional properties and temperature resistance—especially advantageous for devices that undergo steam sterilization—make the material well suited for the fabrication of harmonic scalpels, notes the company.

Beyond contributing to sustainability in terms of product life cycles, the company also tries to be as green as possible, adds Munro. He cites a project with DyeCoo in the Netherlands, which involved designing custom OmniSeal products that were installed in the company's environmentally friendly industrial dyeing machines. "The company is the world's first supplier of industrial CO2 dyeing equipment, where carbon dioxide replaces water in the dyeing process, saving billions of liters of water as well as [preventing] billions of gallons of toxic chemicals being dumped into waterways," says Munro.

The Saint-Gobain Seals Group is a business unit of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, which will exhibit at the co-located MD&M West and PLASTEC West events in Anaheim, CA, on Feb. 11 to 13. Visit the company at booth 1914.

Norbert Sparrow

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 30 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree.

www.linkedin.com/in/norbertsparrow

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