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Foster Introduces ProFlexTM SEBS Polymers for Soft Touch Medical Devices
PUTNAM, Conn.— Foster Corp., a supplier of polymers and custom compounds for the healthcare industry, has introduced ProFlex™ styrene-ethylene butylene-styrene (SEBS) for medical device applications. These polymers offer a low cost alternative to other thermoplastic elastomers with superior elastomeric properties, plus Foster Corp. will supply customers a low minimum quantity for evaluation.
Styrene block copolymers (SBCs), including SEBS, offer the greatest value among all thermoplastic elastomers. SBCs provide design flexibility and resilience properties similar to thermoset rubber, while maintaining desirable processing characteristics of thermoplastics. ProFlex SEBS is suitable for use in conventional injection molding and extrusion equipment, Foster Corp. reports.
“Although ProFlex SEBS polymers are ideal for non-slip medical device applications, traditional suppliers require several hundred pound minimum orders,” said Larry Johnson, vice president, Foster Corporation, in a press release. “This can be prohibitive for prototyping medical components which require only 25 pounds for evaluation. Our low minimum order quantities and 24 hour shipment turnaround on standard grades allow engineers to quickly and economically evaluate new designs.”
Soft touch over-molding of ProFlex SEBS onto rigid thermoplastic or metal components provides a high friction, ergonomically friendly surface. Vibration damping and insulating properties make ProFlex SEBS well suited for over-molding of medical instrument handles and grips, according to Foster. ProFlex SEBS polymers are also reported to have 20 percent lower specific gravity than other engineering thermoplastic elastomers, yielding more parts per weight.
Foster manufactures six standard grades of ProFlex SEBS that meet USP Class VI biocompatibility standards, ranging in Shore hardness of 35A to 85A. These formulations are available in minimum order quantities of 25 pounds. Foster also offers a comprehensive line of tear resistant SEBS grades, as well as a line of low friction SEBS formulation. Minimum order quantities for specialty SEBS materials begin at 50 pounds.
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