A series of advanced medical-grade elastomers that provide the first fully practical alternative to PVC for many tubing applications has been introduced by Teknor Apex Company. The Medalist MD-500 Series compounds exhibit crystal clarity and mechanical properties comparable to those of PVC; provide similar clamp resilience and resistance to kinking and necking; have a PVC-like "feel"; and are substantially more flexible and significantly less dense. At the same time they undergo minimal color shift upon heat aging after exposure to gamma irradiation, the most severe type of sterilization. A typical compound in the series, Medalist MD-575, actually exhibits 70% less heat-aged color shift than a gamma-stabilized PVC compound of comparable hardness.
Products from the new elastomers outperform traditional PVC-alternative technologies by mirroring many of the performance and handling characteristics of flexible PVC tubing compounds, while providing distinct advantages in some key capabilities. They have been tested for compliance with ISO 10993-5 cytotoxicity standards and are free of animal-derived materials, phthalates, latex, silicones, and additives not directly required for medical applications. Standard formulations include five grades, with Shore A hardness (15 sec.) ranging from 53 to 86.