Tritan Studies Underway
Medical device manufacturers are currently evaluating Eastman Tritan copolyester MP100 for a number of rigid medical packaging applications. Eastman’s main focus at its Medical Design & Manufacturing West 2011 press conference was its newest product in the Tritan copolymer family for renal devices. However, the company reported that packaging evaluations are underway on a number of fronts. Tritan’s resistance to extreme temperatures, chemicals, and impact positions it as a viable alternative to other polymers, reported Dante Rutstrom, vice president and general manager, specialty plastics business, Eastman, at the event.
Eastman Chemical Co. launched the medical packaging grade of Tritan in early 2010. It offers the same properties offered by Eastar copolyester 6763, including chemical resistance, clarity, and toughness.
Kieran Smith, Eastman’s global industry leader for durables and medical, explains that “Tritan offers the advantage of heat resistance, allowing better physical aging, which yields longer package integrity and shelf life.” It enables packages to exhibit lower distortion during heat sealing, storage, and transport. Tritan also allows higher sterilization chamber temperatures, allowing faster ethylene oxide (EtO) cycle times and a reduced risk of warping and sticking, Eastman reports.
Given its toughness, Tritan copolyester MP100 offers the potential for package lightweighting and downgauging to reduce thickness, thereby requiring less source material and resulting in reduced energy usage and shipping costs.
Eastman is currently working with a medical device manufacturer on a packaging application that involves dry ice temperatures around -78.5°C. “We are seeing very good toughness at these lower temperatures,” explains Smith.