Advanced Sensor Technologies Chooses Solvay's New Veradel® HC A-301 PESU to Replace PEI in Highly Durable Sensors for Demanding Healthcare Applications

  Biopharma Processing: Veradel HC PESU retains its transparency and toughness at high temperatures. Click to enlarge

Alpharetta, Ga., Feb. 10, 2016 - Solvay Specialty Polymers, a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoplastics, announced today that its new healthcare-grade polymer, Veradel® HC A-301 polyethersulfone (PESU), is helping to enable a new line of extremely durable sensor products for medical and biopharma applications from Advanced Sensor Technologies Inc. (ASTi), an industry-leading designer of laboratory, medical and industrial electrochemical sensors. 

Available in a range of sizes, ASTi's new liquid analytic sensor design seals sensitive electronics safely inside an internal plastic sleeve that is fitted within an outer sleeve - also made of plastic - which houses the electrochemical sensor components. ASTi evaluated Veradel® HC A-301 PESU in molding trials to form inner sleeve components where it found Solvay's material helped address moldability, cost and thermal cycling issues posed by an incumbent polyetherimide (PEI) grade.

Specifically, ASTi found Solvay's comparatively high flow PESU enables the design of family molds that produce very little waste, and allows molding of selective parts with flip gates. Veradel® HC A-301 PESU's superior flowability also permitted the design of thinner walls, more complex shapes and different cross sections within finished parts. Its high transparency further facilitated final assembly of integrated parts.

ASTi engineers favor bound and press-fitted parts vs. less reliable washers and O-rings to seal the sensors. Consequently, the comparatively similar thermal expansion rates between Veradel® HC A-301 PESU and the polymer specified for the outer sleeve of the sensor also helped minimize strain on these critical seals during thermal cycling. Solvay's healthcare-grade PESU offers a continuous use temperature up to 204°C (399°F), which can potentially contribute to more durable sensors and components.

"Based on our molding tests, Solvay's Veradel® HC PESU is now the polymer of choice for designs targeting medical and biopharma applications, as well as industrial and laboratory electrochemical products," said Martin Patko, president and founder at ASTi. "Solvay's high-flow polymer delivers more cost-effective processing options, improved mechanical performance and higher transparency than the PEI grade we had previously used. Further, its biocompatibility along with the availability of a complete Master Access File will help us transition future sensor designs to quickly address applications in the fast-growing healthcare market."

The latest addition to Solvay's healthcare portfolio, the new Veradel® HC PESU grade has been tested under ISO 10993 biocompatibility standards for cytotoxicity, irritation and acute systemic toxicity. It is the first PESU polymer for use in medical devices to offer a Master Access File (MAF) on record with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Thus, its selection can help facilitate the regulatory application process for molded components, and speed time to market.

Solvay Specialty Polymers' experience as a reliable materials supplier in the healthcare field spans more than 25 years. The company is a leading manufacturer of polymers for healthcare applications, offering a broad range of high-performance plastics for medical devices, instruments, and equipment. Solvay also offers a family of Solviva® Biomaterials for use in a range of implantable devices. Solvay's Veradel® family of PESU polymers has a long and proven history in food service, membrane filtration and automotive applications.

Solvay Specialty Polymers manufactures over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers – fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra-high performance polymers, high barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds – for use in Aerospace, Alternative Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Membranes, Oil & Gas, Packaging, Plumbing, Semiconductors, Wire & Cable, and other industries. Learn more at www.solvayspecialtypolymers.com.

Solvay is a multi-specialty chemical company, committed to developing chemistry that addresses key societal challenges. Solvay innovates and partners with customers in diverse global end markets. Its products and solutions are used in planes, cars, smart and medical devices, batteries, in mineral and oil extraction, among many other applications promoting sustainability. Its lightweighting materials enhance cleaner mobility, its formulations optimize the use of resources and its performance chemicals improve air and water quality. Solvay is headquartered in Brussels with around 27,000 employees in 58 countries. Net sales were € 10.9 billion in 2016, with 90% from activities where Solvay ranks among the world’s top 3 leaders. Solvay SA (SOLB.BE) is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLB.BR) and in the United States its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a level-1 ADR program.