Raumedic (Helmbrechts, Germany) has been increasing its focus on developing PVC-free plastics for medical tubing, the company announced today.
Raumedic, which has its U.S. headquarters in Mills River, N.C., has alternative materials without plasticizers that can be used in components used in applications including transfusions, pumps, gravity kits for parenteral infusion systems, and more. PVC alternatives are more in demand because the European Union has been cracking down on the use of PVCs containing di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) plasticizers, due to worries over their potential toxicity.
“More and more frequently, the market is demanding plasticizer-free PVC alternatives that should nevertheless have PVC-like properties,” Ralf Ziembinski, head of the tubing business unit at Raumedic, said in a news release.
Potential PVC alternatives include polypropylene and polyurethane. They’re both drug tolerable, although their use must be considered on a case-by-case basis, Ziembinski said. “As plastic specialists, we provide extensive guidance when selecting materials.”
Coextrusion can provide a more cost-efficient alternative to soft polypropylene and polyurethane, according to Ziembinski.
Raumedic, for example, recently developed two-layer tubing made from EVA and styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) as one alternative to PVC. The material combination is about one-quarter more expensive than PVC, but there’s an important advantage: “The outer layer of the tubing made from SBR can be easily glued, which plays a key role during secondary processing,” Ziembinski said.