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Teknor Apex Company
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Soft, Odorless Seal Has Key Role in Manufacture of Emergency Ventilation Mask
Seal is Overmolded of Custom-Formulated Medical Elastomer
PAWTUCKET, R.I--The O2-RESQTM System from Pulmodyne, Inc., is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) system that enables clinicians to provide immediate ventilation to patients suffering from congestive heart failure and other respiratory distress conditions. A key component of this emergency face mask is a soft, rounded elastomeric cushion that fits comfortably on the patient's face and is free of odor, according to Pulmodyne. The translucent cushion, or seal, is made of a custom-formulated compound in the Medalist® range of medical-grade elastomers from Teknor Apex Company (www.teknorapex.com).
Unlike many other elastomers and flexible plastics used in medical masks, Medalist elastomers are odorless, latex-free, and contain no phthalates, according to Lisa Charno, medical market manager for the Thermoplastic Elastomer Division of Teknor Apex. The soft, 37 Shore A elastomer is overmolded onto the transparent front portion of the mask, which is made of a rigid terpolymer material. Overmolding the Medalist elastomer provides strong adhesion to the rigid substrate and combines the different functions of the soft and hard components into what is in effect a single part. It also provides other manufacturing advantages, according to Charno.
"Many medical masks, including Pulmodyne's O2-RESQ model, incorporate undercuts in their design that present real challenges when the part is ejected from the mold," said Charno. "Because Medalist compounds set up rapidly in the mold and exhibit good tear strength, they make it possible for the mask to be pulled off the mold core without tearing or stretching."
Also, because the Medalist compound has a lower specific gravity than PVC (0.88 versus 1.13), it yields more parts per pound of compound and makes possible a mask seal that is reportedly 22% lighter than it would have been in PVC.
The Medalist (www.medalistmd.com) program for medical manufacturers includes a range of 33 standard high-purity elastomer compounds. Available with Shore A hardness from 5 to 87, the compounds include clear, translucent, and opaque formulations.
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