At the heart of a potentially large-scale shift away from PVC in medical applications is a highly proprietary technology that makes it possible to inexpensively weld very thin gauge polyolefin elastomers.
Genesis Plastics Welding (Fortville, IN) showed the latest versions of its ecoGenesis radio frequency (RF) welding technology at NPE2012 (Orlando, FL; April 1-5), but the underlying technology is not new; it was invented in the 1980s by Robert C. Smith, who is the current board chairman of Genesis.
Until the commercialization of ecoGenesis, radio-frequency (RF) welding of films had been limited to polar resins with high dielectric loss factors--particularly flexible PVC and thermoplastic polyurethane. Nonpolar plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene are "invisible" to RF energy unless modified with significant amounts of polar additives such as EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), adding to the expense. Properties are also impacted by the additives. PVC became the material of choice for hospital intravenous (IV) bags and tubing because of its low cost and property profile....