Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Solegear & r-pac Team up to Accelerate Commercialization of Plant-based Plastic Packaging

r-pac International Corp. and Solegear Bioplastics Inc. completed an agreement to accelerate the production, sales and distribution of Solegear's Polysole® and Traverse® plant-based plastic packaging.
Using its award-winning expertise in Green Chemistry, Solegear collaborated with leading Canadian research institutions, including the National Research Council of Canada, to develop novel bio-based and environmentally responsible bioplastics for rigid consumer product packaging. As part of this new agreement, r-pac and Solegear will work together on selling and marketing the bio-based packaging, having successfully completed materials evaluation and production testing. r-pac plans to begin offering the new products immediately.
"It has been a pleasure developing our relationship with r-pac. Their expertise in packaging design, production, sales and retail support is first-rate. This agreement sets the stage to further broaden Solegear's vision: providing a better performing and more sustainable alternative for rigid packaging solutions on a global basis," said Toby Reid, CEO of Solegear.
"When it comes to creating solutions for our customers, the stakes are always very high and the challenges are compelling, so we choose our partners very carefully," noted Michael Teitelbaum, CEO of r-pac. "Solegear's plant-based plastic packaging is a unique solution and executes seamlessly with r-pac's rigid plastic manufacturing capabilities. We are pleased to have collaborated with Solegear and to be on the forefront of sustainable innovation."
r-pac delivers an extensive portfolio of packaging and trims products across a wide range of categories, providing bottom-line results to many leading global brands, including Target, Walmart and more. r-pac operates sales and production facilities around the world with a commitment to sustainability that includes using bio-based materials in rigid packaging applications and beyond.
In keeping with both companies' policies, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Source: Solegear Bioplastics Inc.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Foster Unveils Nano Reinforced, PEBA-based LoPro Plus™ Radiopaque Compounds for Catheters

Foster Corporation, among the leaders in custom polymers for medical devices, introduces LoPro Plus™ radiopaque compounds reinforced with nanoparticles for improved pushability of thin wall catheters. These compounds allow for extrusion of single layer tubes with radiopacity and strength properties equivalent to conventional two layer tubes, in which each layer provides the distinct properties. LoPro Plus reduces material and inventory costs when compared to standard two layer constructions.

Radiopaque compounds typically include 30% to 40% barium or bismuth filler to provide fluoroscopic visibility of catheters within blood vessels; however, these fillers are not designed to improve strength properties. Improved pushability and torque for catheters that must reach deep in the body or precise locations often requires coextrusion of additional layers using polymers with high strength properties. This can increase manufacturing costs due to the purchase and inventory management of multiple materials. LoPro Plus compounds combine radiopacity and strength enhancement in a single material designed to replace the two materials used for traditional extrusions.

LoPro Plus compounds use particles that are less than a nanometer thick and up to 1,500 times the thickness in length. These extremely small reinforcements are dispersed throughout the polymer at the molecular level to improve physical properties. When added to radiopaque filled compounds in small quantities, the nano particles improve rigidity without increasing brittleness. Recent studies performed by Foster indicate the addition of 3% nanoparticles to a 72 durometer polyether block amide (PEBA) with 35% bismuth filler, improves flexural modulus by 60% and increases elongation by 10%.

"Catheters require enhanced performance properties to reach deeper inside the body. At the same time, device manufacturers are aggressively pursuing cost reductions associated with these devices," said Bill Blasius, Manager of R&D and Polymer Science for Foster Corporation. "LoPro Plus compounds are designed to replace multi-layer tubes with a single layer, which will reduce material and inventory costs."

LoPro Plus compounds are the latest addition to Foster's portfolio of radiopaque polymers that leverage nano technology for enhanced performance.

Source: Foster Corporation