Eastman Chemical Company is enhancing its medical packaging portfolio with Eastalite™ copolyester, the company’s first opaque offering. The material complements the company’s other medical packaging copolyester offerings: Eastman Eastar™ 6763 and Tritan™ MP100.
Eastalite is a sustainable alternative to high-impact polystyrene (HIPS) for opaque rigid medical packaging. It meets the demand for cost-effective, styrene-free material that is easier to process.
Eastman Eastalite™ copolyester is best suited for applications in which lightweighting and other sustainable attributes are part of their fitness for use requirements, including work-in-progress trays, thermoformed pharmaceutical packaging and packaging for economical medical devices or kits.
“This new opaque material is another demonstration of Eastman’s commitment to providing innovative, cost-effective and sustainable solutions to meet the needs of the medical packaging industry,” said Aneta Clark, market development representative for medical packaging, Advanced Materials-Specialty Plastics, Eastman Chemical Company. “Eastman Eastalite™ copolyester provides brand owners and medical device manufacturers with a material at a price comparable to HIPS, but one that is free of styrene and easier to process.”
Processing and performance advantages
Thermoforming Eastman Eastalite™ copolyester into rigid trays can reduce processing and inspection time, waste and cleaning, as well as processing costs. It also has the potential to reduce cycle times as compared with HIPS, due to minimal particulate or angel hair generation and reduced risk of black specks. Extruded Eastalite contains a foam core with a contact surface skin of Eastman Eastar™ copolyester 6763.
The material also can provide greater tear strength, as alternative materials are brittle and
crack-susceptible. Products made with Eastman Eastalite™ copolyester can be designed with deep undercuts, resulting in better hinge life and less stress whitening than packaging molded from HIPS. In addition, irradiation can discolor packaging made with HIPS and cause physical property deterioration. Eastalite retains color stability and functional integrity following sterilization by EtO, gamma, e-beam or gas plasma.
A sustainable alternative material
From a safety and sustainability standpoint, styrene packaging has been identified as a concern under many health care enterprise Environmentally Preferable Purchasing guidelines. The Eastman Eastalite™ copolyester offering helps fill an unmet need in the medical industry for sustainable and lightweight rigid medical packaging made from environmentally responsible materials. Although sheet extruded from Eastalite can be processed with the same thermoforming, trimming and sealing equipment as HIPS, its lower process temperatures offer greater opportunities for sustainable packaging.
“Eastman Eastalite™ copolyester can create new market opportunities by providing brand owners and medical device manufacturers with a material to produce differentiated products that satisfy the unmet market need,” Clark said. “Eastman strives for sustainable innovation by creating solutions that offer more value with less environmental impact.”
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, polyvinyl chloride or halogens such as chlorine or bromine. The material is compliant with select ISO 10993 requirements for medical device biocompatibility.
Other Eastman news coming at MD&M West
Eastman will showcase numerous new medical market offerings at next month’s Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West trade show (Feb. 11-13) in Booth 2515. Attendees can learn more about the launch of Eastman Eastalite™ copolyester and a new online information-sharing platform that provides interaction with technical experts. In addition, Eastman experts will be on-hand to discuss non-phthalate plasticizers and impending regulations as well as new medical devices made with Eastman Tritan™ copolyester.