Two new interesting commercial uses of copolyesters and copolyester elastomers were showcased by Eastman Chemical Co., Kingsport, Tenn., at last month’s Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West trade show in Anaheim, Calif.
•The Laparoscopic Lens Internal Cleaning System (LLICS)—a surgical instrument that cleans laparoscope lenses in situ during minimally-invasive surgeries—features a handle made of a blend of Eastman’s Ecdel copolyester TPE and its Eastar PETG. Made by Melicor Medical LLC, Boulder, Colo., the blend reportedly provides the required flexibility and durability to create a living-hinge-like grip handle that undergoes repeated squeezing to deploy an internal cleaning sponge throughout a surgical procedure.
•IPG Photonics, Oxford, Mass., maker of high-power fiber lasers and amplifiers, has developed technology for welding clear-to-clear polymers with fiber lasers. The technology is now available to weld medical devices and other products made with Eastman’s proprietary Tritan copolyester as well as a range of translucent and transparent polymers, creating welds that can be invisible to the human eye. It has been shown to produce high-strength welds on Tritan copolyester while preserving the material’s strength, clarity, and processability. IPG’s new technology eliminates the need for the addition of energy-absorbing additives, typically required for laser welding.