Actega DS develops oil-free thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compounds

They comply with the main requirements for medical and pharmaceutical devices and packaging, thereby making them suitable for sensitive applications

What applies to all plastics used in contact with food and beverages to prevent reactions between packaging and contents is also applicable to plastics used for medical and pharmaceutical products and packaging: substances harmful to health may not be used for polymerisation, nor is migration by undesirable substances into medication allowed.

In view of such substances with a leachable or extractable potential, Actega DS, a German supplier of speciality coatings, printing inks, sealants, compounds and adhesives, has developed oil-free TPE compounds which comply with the main requirements for medical and pharmaceutical devices and packaging, thereby making them suitable for sensitive applications.

Apart from minimal leachable or extractable substances, these TPE compounds are also distinguished by a number of other properties: they are free of PVC, silicone, latex and plasticisers; they are characterised by high transparency, soft-touch haptics, kink resistance/deformation resistance, good sealing and adhesion properties, and sterilisability (Gamma radiation, ETO, autoclaves).

Such properties are demanded by a wide range of medical and pharmaceutical applications. For tube systems, for example, excellent transparency characteristics with clear views of the flow medium are important. Kink stability is imperative to ensure that liquids and gases can easily flow unimpeded.

Other key elements, particularly in the development of catheter and pump tubes, include good absorption characteristics, high recovery capacity after deformation and coating suitability for low-friction surfaces.

These oil-free TPE compounds also comply with the requirements on pharmaceutical and medical primary packaging: they should protect contents from environmental influences and should not react with the medication. Furthermore, user friendliness and convenience are also key factors necessitated by increasing self-medication.

Unlike glass as a standard packaging material for liquid medication, for example, a TPE formula has the advantage of eliminating any leaching by alkaline components from the glass. The high degree of purity in line with the chemical and physical properties displayed by TPE compounds marketed under the ProvaMed brand make packaging based on this material particularly suitable for storing pharmaceutical medical products, the firm says.

The low weight of the packaging – compared with glass – as well as breakage safety, chemical and media resistance and transparency, is also beneficial.

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