Which medical grade polymer is right for you?

We know that material choice is a crucial component of any medical device or device housing. When you’re deciding what medical grade polymer you need for your next project, consider these criteria:
  • Does it make the grade?
  • Will it match the application?
Selecting the right medical grade polymers helps ensure your device complies with quality and biocompatibility standards—and that you have reliable support for regulatory approvals. Different polymers offer different combinations of strengths that help ensure performance in specific medical applications. 
 
When matching a medical grade of Eastman Tritan copolyester to your needs, keep in mind that each medical application has different performance priorities. For example, while opaque medical housings demand a greater level of durability, chemical resistance, color stability, and heat resistance, clear applications—such as fluid management and IV components—also place a high value on clarity.
 
Eastman provides a range of medical grades of Tritan. Here are some outstanding properties of our clear and opaque formulations of the polymer:
 
Clear formulations of Tritan:
  • Offer greater toughness, heat resistance, processability, and design freedom compared with other copolyesters
  • Retain clarity, color stability, and functional integrity after sterilization
  • Provide outstanding chemical resistance to lipids, IPA, disinfecting agents, and bonding solvents and adhesives
Opaque formulations of Tritan:
  • Provide excellent functionality and reliability to device housings
  • Ensure compatibility with the new reality of aggressive disinfection and the daily impact stresses that come with greater portability
  • Retain color and functionality following sterilization with gamma and e-beam irradiation
  • Offer reliable color matching—drawing on the expertise of the Eastman Color Technology Center
  • Provide flame-retardant properties
Find out more about our different products here. We also have the technical expertise and support you need to make the right material choice. Our team will work with you every step of the way to help bring your product to market as seamlessly as possible.
 
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Tips for tooling design with Tritan

 
What makes for effective molding of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester? Reviewing all aspects of design—from concept to secondary operations—early on in the process is crucial to end-stage success.
 
Tooling design review is one important step in the process that will help determine what type of gating system is right for your device. Here are four quick tooling design tips for injection molding with Tritan:
 
  • Proper gating selection
    Select a compatible gating style for the selected resin. Most conventional cold gating styles work well with Tritan copolyesters, including sub, pin, fan, edge, sprue, and diaphragm gates.
 
  • Design tooling with good cooling/thermal control
    Copolyesters require good thermal control throughout the cavity for optimal processing.
 
  • Design tooling with a plan for venting 
    Poor venting can result in burn marks and incomplete fill. Suggested vent depths for Tritan copolyesters are typically 0.0005–0.0015 in.
 
  • Design tooling with a plan for ejection 
Parts should be adequately supported during ejection to avoid part deformation/breakage.
 
By collaborating with our team from the get-go, you’ll be sure to see greater return on investment for your project in the end. Contact us for processing tips and more!

Navigating the complexities of compatibility with oncology drugs

The need to mitigate infection risks and enhance patients’ safety and comfort has significantly increased the demand for higher-performing plastics with improved chemical resistance. Many polymers commonly used in drug delivery devices simply do not hold up to modern oncology chemotherapies. After exposure to chemicals in the medical environment, devices made with these polymers can experience environmental stress cracking or premature failure in the presence of applied or residual stress.
 
Broken devices put patients at risk. What’s more, regulatory agencies may tell manufacturers to stop using certain materials when device performance or life cycle is compromised.
 
For these reasons, when you are choosing materials for your medical device, evaluating polymers for chemical resistance is key. Eastman Tritan copolyesters have excellent overall chemical resistance and other advantages that make them superior alternatives to polycarbonate (PC) or acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) for oncology drug delivery devices.
 
Tritan also offers compatibility with many popular sterilization methods and has outstanding hydrolytic stability. This balance of properties makes Tritan a great choice for IV system components, blood therapy devices, and any parts that face frequent disinfection. Read more about the benefits Tritan offers devices that encounter hospital disinfectants and oncology drugs here.

Eastman Tritan™ copolyester—superior attributes for medical devices

Eastman Tritan™ copolyester is raising the bar for durability and cleanability in medical devices and housings. BPA-free Tritan’s attributes include exceptional clarity, toughness, improved heat and chemical resistance, and more. It’s also easy to process due to its unique chemical makeup relative to traditional thermoplastics. This blend of processing and performance properties provides greater advantages compared with other commonly used polymers. Available in clear and opaque formulations, Tritan offers many benefits to enhance innovative device designs:
 
Clear formulations of Tritan
  • Greater toughness, heat resistance, processability, and design freedom
  • Clarity, color stability, and functional integrity after sterilization
  • Outstanding chemical resistance to lipids, IPA, disinfecting agents, and bonding solvents and adhesives
 
Opaque formulations of Tritan
  • Excellent functionality and reliability for device housings
  • Compatibility with aggressive disinfection and the daily impact stresses that come with greater portability
  • Color and functionality following sterilization with gamma and e-beam irradiation
  • Reliable color matching
  • Flame-retardant properties (Tritan MXF121 copolyester)
    • Fire retardant—UL 94 V-2 rating @ 1.5 mm
    • Excellent resistance to chemicals and lipids
    • Meets hospital Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) guidelines—made without halogens or ortho-phthalate plasticizers
    • Clear and opaque formulations—color matching available
    • Excellent durability—high impact strength and toughness
    • Fast cycle times
 
Check out the Tritan Medical Toolkit to learn more about the advantages of Tritan for different molded parts.
 

 
Lunch and learn with Eastman at MD&M West 2019


We’re excited to share our industry-leading products and technical expertise at Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West next month in Anaheim, California. We hope to see you there!
 
MD&M West 2019 is a great opportunity to discover how Eastman’s innovative polymer portfolio and emerging technologies are improving patient safety and creating positive health outcomes. We’ll be hosting many great sessions during the conference, featuring insights on the latest advancements in the medical market.
 
Attend one of our Lunch and Learn events:
 
Critical considerations for successful development, validation and product lifecycle in medical packaging: a perspective from 40 years of dedicated industry support
Tuesday, February 5, 11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m., 212AB
 
Uncovering medical device failure modes and infection transmission pathways to inform better material testing methods, selection, and design: A panel discussion
Wednesday, February 6, 11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m., 212AB
 
Meet one on one with members of our medical device and packaging teams at these sessions:
 
Thermoplastic Elastomer Powder and Its Benefits in Printing Medical Devices
Thursday, February 7, 9:15–10:00 a.m., 208B, Carolin Vogel
 
Choosing the Right Polymers for Superior Manufacturing and Durability: What Hospitals Measure
Thursday, February 7, 10:15–11:00 a.m., Ellen Turner, Thomas Meehan


 
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