Lightweight PPSU Delivers Chemical Resistance, High Heat Resistance, and Durability in Unique One-Piece Coupling
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – LinkTech Quick Couplings, a leading global supplier of quick couplings and valves with headquarters in Ventura, Calif., has developed a proprietary quick coupling made of Radel® polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) resin from Solvay Specialty Polymers for surgical sterilization units. Custom designed and developed for a leading medical device manufacturer, the PPSU-based quick coupling provides a cost-effective alternative to metal that reduces weight, simplifies manufacturing, and eliminates machining.
The new quick coupling is an external component used to quickly connect/disconnect a hose that transports sterilization solution from a tank/reservoir to the sterilization unit. The injection molded single-body design provides a distinct advantage over standard metal quick couplings made from multi-piece components that require assembly with automation equipment and ultrasonic welding.
“We chose Radel® PPSU as a replacement for metal because of its lightweight strength, toughness, and resistance to heat and chemicals,” said Hector Cordero, design engineer for LinkTech Quick Couplings.
Radel® PPSU is a super-tough thermoplastic that can withstand over 1000 cycles of disinfection and steam sterilization without significant loss of properties. It is inherently flame retardant and is resistant to bases and other chemicals. Radel® PPSU is also compliant with ISO 10993-1 for limited exposure, non-implantable applications.
According to LinkTech, Solvay provided valuable technical support including mold flow analysis to help determine optimum gating of the sockets, measuring 4.5 inch long and 0.75 inch high (11.4 cm by 1.9 cm), and the male plugs, measuring 1 inch long and 0.5 inch high (2.5 cm by 1.3 cm).
LinkTech considered competitive engineering plastics for the application but ruled them out due to cost and performance issues, said Cordero. The company has used Radel® PPSU in other quick coupling applications.
While the new quick couplings are currently offered on an exclusive basis, LinkTech is considering Radel® PPSU for a range of future products.
Solvay Specialty Polymers is the global leader in the development of sulfone polymer technology, launching Udel® polysulfone nearly 45 years ago. In addition, Solvay’s experience as a key materials supplier in the healthcare field spans more than 25 years. The company is a leading manufacturer of high-performance plastics, offering the industry’s broadest range of materials for demanding healthcare applications.
About LinkTech Quick Couplings
Headquartered in Ventura, Calif., LinkTech Quick Couplings is a global supplier of quick couplings and valves. The company manufactures high-quality, easy-to-use quick couplings, valves, and fittings. LinkTech’s product range is well suited for use in durable and disposable medical equipment, analytical devices, food and beverage, and industrial applications. For more information, call (805) 339-0055 or visit www.linktechcouplings.com.
About Solvay Specialty Polymers
Solvay Specialty Polymers is a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoplastics for permanent and prolonged exposure implants and limited exposure devices. The company has expanded its focus on the healthcare industry to meet the growing needs of its global customers by providing global technical and regulatory support. Solvay is building on its 25-year history as a key material supplier in the healthcare field, devoting considerable new resources to help customers be more efficient and cut costs. Metal-to-plastic replacement remains a key focus for manufacturers, but increased cost pressures pose a new challenge as the market continues to grow at a double-digit pace. Solvay also continues to devote considerable research and development activities to polymer technology and commercialization of new and unique material options for medical OEMs and processors.
Solvay Specialty Polymers manufactures over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds – for use in Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Membranes, Oil and Gas, Packaging, Plumbing, Semiconductors, Wire and Cable, and other industries. Learn more at www.solvay.com.
As an international chemical group, SOLVAY assists industries in finding and implementing ever more responsible and value-creating solutions. The Group is firmly committed to sustainable development and focused on innovation and operational excellence. Solvay serves diversified markets, generating 90% of its turnover in activities where it is one of the top three worldwide. The group is headquartered in Brussels, employs about 29,000 people in 55 countries and generated 12.4 billion euros in net sales in 2012. Solvay SA SOLB.BE) is listed on NYSE Euronext in Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR).