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TPEs are free from animal-derived materials

18 September 2007

New thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) compounds from Teknor Apex enable manufacturers of medical and other regulated products to comply with regulations aimed at preventing the transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Two series of Uniprene®and Monprene TPEs comply with the requirements because they contain no animal-derived materials (ADMs), such as lubricants based on beef tallow. They are recommended for use in applications as varied as medical tubing, syringe tips, toothbrushes, ear plugs, and food packaging seals.

Directives from the European Union and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aimed at preventing the transmission of BSE impose strict limitations on the use of ADMs in such regulated products. While a number of commodity resin suppliers have bypassed these restrictions by eliminating ADMs, Teknor Apex claims to be the first compounder of TPEs to focus on this issue, according to Nick Sandland, European market manager.

The grade designations for the new compounds from Teknor Apex bear an “F” (for “ADM-Free”) suffix and indicate the Shore A hardness levels in the last two numerical digits:

● Uniprene thermoplastic vulcanizate (TPV) compounds: UN-8045F, UN-8055F, UN-8064F, UN-8073F, UN-8080F. Uniprene TPVs perform like thermoset rubber but process with the ease and speed of thermoplastics. They provide excellent compression set at room and elevated temperatures and greater chemical resistance than most other widely-used TPEs.

● Monprene TPEs, based on proprietary styrenic tri-block copolymer chemistry: MP-5038F, MP-5042F, MP-5050F, MP-5065F. These are among the most versatile of TPEs, providing high levels of elasticity and tensile strength for applications requiring rubber-like performance.

“The new ADM-free TPEs from Teknor Apex are exact counterparts to standard Uniprene and Monprene compounds already widely used in medical devices, oral hygiene products, food packaging, and potable-water system components,” says Mr Sandland. “They enable our customers to easily address concerns about BSE transmission without sacrificing the excellent processing and end-use properties which have made Uniprene and Monprene TPEs leading materials in these regulated applications.”

Teknor Apex produces the ADM-free compounds at compounding facilities in the U.S. and Asia and can supply identical formulations to customers that manufacture at multiple locations around the world.

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