WEB EXCLUSIVE: Topas Advanced Polymers, Florence, Ky., has developed the first cylic olefin copolymer (COC) thermoplastic elastomers. Developmental grades of these clear, highly flexible materials are aimed at specialty pharmaceutical packaging, IV bags, kink-resistant medical tubing, and other medical devices. Unlike previous amorphous Topas grades, this TPE is semicrystalline. The initial grade has 89 Shore A hardness and meets USP Class VI specs. It has a tensile modulus of 6400 psi and ultimate elongation greater than 450%. Dielectric properties are said to be comparable to some fluoropolymers, providing strong insulating capacity for cable jackets. Also promising is ductility at temperatures below -80 C (-112 F) and very high abrasion resistance, almost comparable to more costly TPU. Initial tests show resistance to gamma and e-beam sterilization. These TPEs can be injection molded or extruded without predrying. Low levels (25% or less) of these elastomers can also be used to modify standard COC films for extra toughness and strength. Topas TPEs can also be blended with olefinic and styrenic TPEs and are expected to adhere to polyolefins and styrenics in overmolding applications.
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