The new highly transparent elastomer is being marketed under the brand name of the Topas product family. The company said these materials represent an alternative to conventional TPEs for applications such as medical devices, speciality pharmaceutical packaging and medical tubing.
The new elastomers are said to be comparable to other TPEs in terms of strength and stiffness. With a Shore A hardness of 89, their tensile modulus measures 45 MPa and elongation at break exceeds 450 %. One of the important properties of the material is its ability to maintain its ductility even at temperatures below -80 °C. In addition, the material's low dielectric loss factor is comparable to some fluoroelastomers, providing strong electrical insulation performance.
The new elastomer meets USP Class VI requirements for use in medical devices while US FDA food-contact approval is pending. Like standard COC grades, these new elastomer grades are also high-purity resins with low leachables and extractables, making them suitable for PVC replacement in medical tubing, IV bags, and flow meters. The company cites a recent successful trial in medical tubing that has demonstrated the material's strong kink-resistant qualities. Further testing showed that the new elastomer withstands both gamma and e-beam sterilisation. It can be injection moulded or extruded using conventional processing equipment and requires no pre-drying. Initial commercial-scale production runs have been successfully completed.
Topas Advanced Polymers, a joint venture between the Japanese companies Daicel Chemical Industries Ltd. and Polyplastics Co., Ltd., was established in January 2006. The company is located in Frankfurt, Germany, and Florence, Kentucky, USA, and has about 100 employees. Topas markets COCs in Europe and the Americas, while Polyplastics Co., Ltd. covers Asia.