Wisconsin-based extruder Pacur, is introducing its PETG foam, made with Eastman Eastalite copolyester, for medical packaging. The opaque, extruded, multilayer product is a durable and cleaner alternative to high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) for opaque rigid medical packaging. Pacur collaborated with Eastman Chemical Company and thermoformer Tek Pak, to create and launch the new lightweight material.
“Medical companies are looking for materials that are easy to use and environmentally friendly while providing exceptional protection for their products,” said Jim Banko, VP of sales, Pacur. “Pacur PETG foam meets all of that criteria and more.”
Unique composition for processing, performance advantages Pacur PETG foam is made from skins of a product familiar to the medical market, Eastman Eastar copolyester 6763, and its core is made with Eastman Eastalite copolyester. The Eastar copolyester skin layers allow the same heat seal and product contact surfaces that the medical industry trusts.
The foamed Eastalite copolyester core provides light weighting and a cushioning effect. Because of this unique structure, the opaque material is shock-absorbent for impact resistance during shipping. When thermoformed into packages, the multilayer sheeting offers a physical barrier to microbes and product protection over the desired shelf life for medical devices.
“Pacur PETG foam was easy to work with and has many qualities we value as a thermoformer,” said Tony Beyer, owner, Tek Pak. “We were able to run the machine faster with the Pacur PETG foam than with an equivalent polystyrene material. We also found it to be cleaner when looking at angel hair and particulate generation. The material is easily trimmed and removed from the forming machine and has a beautiful pearlescent look. Overall, it’s an upscale material that has unique properties compared to other materials in the market.”
Eastman Eastalite copolyester containers formed from Eastman Eastalite copolyester extruded sheet can be designed with deep undercuts and durable living hinges, and exhibit less stress whitening than packaging molded from HIPS. Eastalite also can provide greater tear strength while retaining color stability and functional integrity following sterilization by ethylene oxide or gamma irradiation.
Eastman Eastalite copolyester is a styrene-free alternative to HIPS and other competitive products. It is made without materials of concern, including butadiene, bisphenol A, bisphenol S, ortho-phthalates or halogens such as chlorine or bromine. The material is compliant with select ISO 10993 requirements for medical device biocompatibility and applicable parts of ISO 11607.
“Eastman Eastalite copolyester resonates among processors and thermoformers because of its ease of processing and clean cutting,” said Aneta Clark, market development manager, Eastman Chemical Company. “This is extremely important to us because it allows our value chain collaborators to gain efficiency in their production and even cut out some secondary processes. Through working with Pacur and Tek Pak, we are now able to provide these benefits to the market and demonstrate the potential of Eastalite in opaque medical packaging.”