Lubrizol Corp.'s LifeSciences unit has added thermoplastic polyurethane compounding abilities through a partnership with medical compounder- Compounding Solutions. The medical compounder operates 13 compounding lines, will provide compounding for Lubrizol's Pellethane and Isoplast branded products for the medical device industry. The new service will allow Lubrizol to provide custom color matching, safe identification and aesthetics in medical device applications. The firm also offers radiopaque materials for X-ray identification.
"It provides supply chain simplification," Apur Lathiya, senior business development manager, medical devices, said at the recent MDM West show in Anaheim. "Customers can now come to us and we can do the whole thing. They're working with one supplier now. "OEMs want to do less of the manufacturing. They want to do more design, development, and sales and marketing. That bodes well for Lubrizol LifeSciences because we should be benefiting from that trend. We also see the trend of working with less contract manufacturers. The more you can offer your customer, the more valuable you are to that customer. That's what's driving a lot of our investments both on the thermoplastics side and the silicone side."
Pellethane is a thermoplastic polyurethane available as aromatic polyethers, known for its flexibility and range of hardness. Lubrizol said the compound works for medical applications like tubing, catheters and other short-term uses.
Isoplast, another TPU, is designed for rigid polymer requirements because of their high tensile strength and impact resistance. The firm said the compound can be used to replace polycarbonate when stress cracking is an issue or coloring is difficult. Lubrizol also introduced a new non-softening thermoplastic elastomer. Branded Tecobax, the compound allows Lubrizol to go into markets or applications where historically TPEs couldn't be used because of their softening nature. Lathiya said the material is very resilient with a strong coefficient of friction.
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