Thinner, Stronger Bags and Pouches

Bag and pouch materials may be thinner to save costs, but their protective qualities remain strong.

Because of the pressure on medical device and pharmaceutical companies to reduce costs, manufacturers who make bags and pouches are creating thinner, stronger materials. They are also attempting to find films that will adhere to uncoated Tyvek brand spunbonded olefin, which is less expensive than the coated type. This attention to cost reduction does not diminish concerns about packaging performance, however. The less expensive materials perform at least as well as their more expensive counterparts, providing as much strength, tear resistance, and barrier protection.

Custom preformed-pouch fabrication is offered by a company that produces more than 100 million pouches per year. The company, a preformed-pouch supplier, uses a wide range of raw materials, including coated and uncoated Tyvek, papers, films, and foils. Pouches may be produced in widths from 1.5 to 32 in. Lengths range from 2.5 in. to unlimited length. Mangar Industries Inc., New Britain, PA.

A sterilizable bag is made out of HDPE and Tyvek. The Ultra Clean Cleansteam bag may be autoclaved or sterilized by EtO, gamma rays, or steam up to 125°C. Cleansteam bags are suited for the sterile delivery of packaging components and the terminal sterilization of disposable medical devices. A separate version of the bag, the Easy-Tear Cleansteam bag, adds an easy-to-open seal that does not generate particle contamination. Newform NV, Hoegaarden, Belgium.

A coextruded film produces a sterilizable peelable pack without the need for heat-seal coatings. The seal and peel layers of Core-Peel are separated so that the seal layer embeds itself into the fiber of the porous medical packaging material (such as Tyvek brand spunbonded olefin). The peel layer is designed to peel evenly and cleanly. Visible seal continuity is achieved with color contrast—the seals are light blue, making them easy to inspect. Rexam Medical Packaging, Mundelein, IL.

Breathable pouches ensure aseptic presentation and allow sterilization by EtO or radiation. Techni-Vent pouches provide clean peelability, resist punctures and abrasions, and conform to irregularly shaped or high-profile items. Produced under strict GMP standards, the pouches are made from Tyvek combined with a range of films and laminates. Technipaq Inc., Crystal Lake, IL.

Drug manufacturers who are testing pouch-packaged pharmaceuticals can receive a fast, convenient supply of materials with a company's program. The Pharma-Pouch program offers customers a fast response during three critical testing steps: lab work, stability testing, and machinery validation. Pharma-Pouch specifications are available for packaging caplets, capsules, gel-caps, lotions, powders, and tablets. Reynolds Metals Co., Richmond, VA.

Pouches are produced to satisfy any configuration. Tailor-made composites can be delivered to provide constructions suitable for any barrier requirement or sterilization method. Additional product features may include clear barrier films, peelable seals, tear notches, gussets, header strips, vents, and one- to six-color flexo printing. Rollprint Packaging Products Inc., Addison, IL.

A silica-coated, polyester-based film has effective gas and moisture barrier properties. ITD-5602 film offers barrier protection similar to that of foil with the product visibility provided by film. The material is strong, flexible, and puncture resistant; it is heat sealable, peelable, and radiation sterilizable. The clear film provides effective protection for sterile devices. Tolas Health Care Packaging, Feasterville, PA.

Pouch packaging for sterile medical devices is available in peelable and nonpeelable versions. All materials and designs are customized to meet each customer's specifications regarding barrier protection, sealing requirements, puncture resistance, and porosity. Special components such as metallized polyester, high-barrier films, peelable foil laminations, and coextruded films are available. Perfecseal, Philadelphia.

A company manufactures peel pouches, header bags, flat and square bags, rollstock, and lids in an FDA-registered facility. Custom die-cut insert cards are also available to hold products in place within an outer sterile barrier package, such as a peel pouch or header bag. The cards are made of polyethylene or polypropylene and can withstand sterilization. Beacon Converters Inc., Saddle Brook, NJ.

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