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Foster Polymer Distribution has officially partnered with Mitsui Chemicals to distribute TPXpolymethylpentene (PMP) olefin copolymer to the North American medical market.
Foster explains that the low surface tension of this olefin is ideally suited for mandrels used in the manufacturing precision medical tubing and release films for shipping and handling applications. It says that precision medical device components, such as catheters, often require mandrels to support thin wall sections and retain tolerances during manufacturing. These mandrels are commonly made from polymers that must resist heat and chemicals during manufacturing and have exceptional release properties, as measured by surface tension, so that the finished part can be easily removed. TPX polyolefin copolymer has a melting point range of 220°C – 240°C (428°F – 464°F) and a surface tension 38% lower than high density polyethylene (HDPE), a common mandrel material used for catheter manufacturing.
According to Foster, release films, used for protection of medical devices and equipment during transportation and handling, also benefit from this halogen-free, inherently transparent copolymer. TPX olefin copolymer has a specific gravity of 0.83, which is 13% lower than HDPE and represents the lowest density of any commercially available thermoplastic. TPX olefin-based release films minimise weight which can reduce transportation costs.
“Mitsui’s TPX copolymer has non-stick properties approaching PTFE, yet unlike PTFE it is a true thermoplastic and therefore easy to process using conventional equipment,” said Brittany Palmer, Foster Distribution Business Manager. “TPX grades are currently available for injection moulding and extrusion.”
Photo provided by Foster Polymer Distribution.
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