PUTNAM, CT, USA – (July 8, 2015) – Foster Polymer Distribution, a business unit of Foster Corporation specializing in the strategic sourcing of medical polymers and additives, announces the addition of TPX™ polymethylpentene (PMP) to their polymer portfolio. The low surface tension of this olefin copolymer is ideally suited for mandrels used in the manufacturing precision medical tubing and release films for shipping and handling applications. Foster Polymer Distribution will offer TPX™ to the North American medical market.
Precision medical device components, such as catheters, often require mandrels to support thin wall sections and retain tolerances during manufacturing. These mandrels are commonly made from polymers that must resist heat and chemicals during manufacturing and have exceptional release properties, as measured by surface tension, so that the finished part can be easily removed. TPX polyolefin copolymer has a melting point range of 220°C – 240°C (428°F – 464°F) and a surface tension 38% lower than high density polyethylene (HDPE), a common mandrel material used for catheter manufacturing.
Release films, used for protection of medical devices and equipment during transportation and handling, also benefit from this halogen-free, inherently transparent copolymer. TPX olefin copolymer has a specific gravity of 0.83, which is 13% lower than HDPE and represents the lowest density of any commercially available thermoplastic. TPX olefin-based release films minimize weight which can reduce transportation costs.
“Mitsui’s TPX copolymer has non-stick properties approaching PTFE, yet unlike PTFE it is a true thermoplastic and therefore easy to process using conventional equipment,” said Brittany Palmer, Foster Distribution Business Manager. “TPX grades are currently available for injection molding and extrusion.”
Foster Polymer Distribution offers a wide range of performance polymers and additives for medical applications, including polyamides 11 and 12, meta-xylene diamine polyamide, polyether block amides (PEBA), polyvinyl chlorides (PVC) polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and tricalcium phosphate (TCP). For more information about Foster Polymer Distribution, please visit www.fosterpolymers.com
*TPX is a trademark of Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.