A new medical-grade polymer, developed by Eastman Chemical, and recently made available on the UK market, looks set to create exciting opportunities for the development of medical device housings and equipment.
The new Eastman Tritan MXF321 copolyester offers an interesting set of characteristics. The material is flame-resistant and withstands sustained exposure to over 30 different disinfectants and cleaning chemicals that are typically used in the healthcare sector. It also offers excellent impact resistance, is easy to mould, with superior flow and temperature properties and is available in a choice of colours.
Many plastics, especially polycarbonate and ABS, are susceptible to attack by chemicals. These can cause surface cracking or crazing, produce discolouration, or affect the clarity of gloss or clear panels; in each case, the operating life and reliability of the equipment can be adversely affected. By comparison, the new Tritan copolymer has been designed to provide far greater longevity and cleanability when used with medical device enclosures and casings.
We’ve been carrying out extensive injection moulding trials with the new material and have found that not only is it easy to mould and demould, which improves cycle rates, it also accepts electrically conductive EMC/RFI spray coatings, often a requirement for military and medical markets. In addition, it can be ultrasonically welded and works well with hot-foil printing.
Tritan MXF321 meets UL94 V2 and has passed the tests for ISO 10993, covering cytotoxicity, skin sensitization and intracutaneous reactivity.
Although the new material has been introduced primarily for use with medical devices, our initial trails indicate that its unique combination of characteristics make it potentially ideal for a wider range of applications, including in the defence and industrial sectors.
If you’d like to learn more about Tritan MXF321 or discuss the results from our injection moulding trails of the new material, then please get in touch with our technical team.