Foster Develops Heat and Light Stabilized Pebax that Resists Aging and UV Light

PUTNAM, CT, USA – (April 3, 2014) – Foster Corporation, a leader in custom polymers for medical devices, introduces heat and light stabilized polyether block amide (PEBA) copolymers that resist oxidation and degradation during storage. Foster HLS™ formulations are manufactured from medical grade Pebax* polymers and USP VI additives for use in medical device applications such as vascular catheters.

PEBA copolymers, like many polymers, degrade due to environmental stress agents such as oxygen, moisture, heat and ultraviolet light over time. This can cause a loss in material properties and reduced functionality of medical device components that have been stored in such conditions. Foster has developed a targeted stabilizer system which can both decompose and neutralize the free radicals created by exposure to oxygen, heat and UV light, which otherwise will initiate the loss of polymer properties.  These polymer formulations can extend reliable functionality of medical devices.

In two studies recently conducted by Foster, HLS 2533 MED demonstrated substantial long-term property retention compared to the non-stabilized PEBA medical grade.  Following 6 months of exposure to multi-source indoor light, HLS 2533 MED test samples retained 99% tensile strength whereas the non-stabilized PEBA samples demonstrated severe degradation and property attrition after 3 months of light exposure. .  In a separate study, samples were exposed to 131°F (55°C) for 32 weeks to simulate aging for 5 years at 77°F (25°C). The HLS stabilized samples retained 99% tensile strength compared to 78% of the non-stabilized PEBA samples.

“The HLS stabilizer system helps maintain integrity of the base resin by minimizing unanticipated changes in chemistry and molecular weight caused during certain storage conditions,” said Bill Blasius, Manager of R&D and Polymer Science for Foster Corporation. “These changes may affect material properties and performance of a device component.  Minimizing such changes is important for devices that may be in storage prior to use.’

Foster offers HLS polymer formulations based on all available medical grade Pebax polymers, along with radiopaque compound formulations that provide fluoroscopic visibility for catheter and minimally invasive device applications.  For more information about Foster’s new HLS heat and light stabilized grades, please visit

* Pebax is a registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.