Multi-component injection molding is increasingly gaining in economic significance as this technology not only enables integration of component functions during the injection molding process – it also shortens assembly and production times which immediately leads to less expensive manufacturing of parts.
So-called hard-soft compounds represent a high percentage of molded parts designed using multi-component technology, whereby material combinations are realized from technical thermoplastics (hard component) and thermoplastic elastomers (soft component). This process distinguishes between mechanical anchoring (rupture, undercut) and bonding compound (cohesion, adhesion). In a bonding compound, a soft component overmolds the surface of the hard component which softens enabling diffusion of the molecules in the boundary layer. This is responsible for the quality of such a bond.
As the demand for hard-soft compounds increases in medical technology accompanied by an increased prevalence of multi-component technology in this area, the demand for soft-elastic plastics with special adhesive properties is also on the up. Actega DS has succeeded in designing adhesion-optimized variants of the ProvaMed® TPE portfolio established on the market for medical and pharmaceutical applications. Evolving from a project, this innovation not only displays outstanding adhesion to a variety of plastics, including polycarbonate (PC) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene copolymer (ABS); it also complies with the relevant regulations and guidelines prevailing in this sensitive industry in terms of biocompatibility, toxicity and patient safety. What's more, the adhesive properties have been improved to the extent that they are maintained even at continuous media contact and increased temperatures.
The ProvaMed® portfolio is meanwhile firmly established in the medical technology market – only two years after the first official start. And the material has also qualified for the pharmaceutical market, e.g. in the area of seals and tubes.