Copolyester Chosen for Challenge


Perfecseal used Eastman Chemical's Eastar copolyester 6763 for its dual-tray implant packaging system for Exactech.
Orthopaedic implant manufacturer Exactech (Gainesville, FL) has used Eastman Chemical Co.'s (Kingsport, TN) Eastar copolyester 6763 for its porous coated bone implants.

Packaging the implants was a challenge. The tray needed to protect the device, yet not adversely affect its porous coating. In addition, Exactech's packaging engineer Stephanie Riley had to minimize the number of packaging materials used in order to minimize costs, and she had to design a packaging system that fit a family of products with differing lengths.

Exactech worked closely with Eastman and Perfecseal (Mankato, MN) to develop the package. Riley says she chose Eastar copolyester 6763 because it "has a proven track record," she says. "Based on past experience, I've never had any problems using PETG as a rigid tray material. It's very easy to form, protects medical devices, and has aesthetic appeal."

In addition, "Eastar copolyester 6763 addresses clarity, toughness, sterile barrier, and product protection concerns," explains Jennifer Lauderback, Eastman's senior market development representative.

Perfecseal developed a dual-tray system with an inner and outer tray. Vertical sidewall ridges on the inner tray give the system its modularity. The ridges hold sidewall inserts that accommodate various sizes of products. Each of the two vertical sidewall inserts includes a protruding male boss, which when inserted into the ends of the implant suspends it to prevent abrading.

"Instead of five different package designs, we did it with one," says Tad Kinyon, Perfecseal's project engineer. In addition, the two vertical sidewall inserts are made from the same tooling, streamlining design time and reducing overall costs. Kinyon adds that the part released well and scrap rates were reduced when compared with those for PVC.

In addition to protecting the implants, the package also pleased end-users. Surgical technicians and nurses found the package easy to open, and its clarity allowed them to quickly identify contents.

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