PEBAX® 101 Blog
Author: Charles Golub – Market Development Manager
PEBAX®* stands for PolyEther-Block-Amide and is a plasticizer-free block copolymer thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). PEBAX®® materials’ chemical makeup consists of polyamide (rigid) and ether blocks (elastomeric). This material is known to have a low coefficient of friction, shape memory, kink resistance, and pressure resistance. PEBAX®® has a durometer range of 40 – 72 Shore D. It can be supplied in a Medical Grade (tested to USP <88>, Plastic Class VI). Customers can expect extruded product ranging from 3 French to 10 French with tolerances of +/- 0.0015. It can be compounded with additives for custom performance or colors and is bondable via adhesives or RF welding.
Because PEBAX® is very inert, it is a prevalent material choice within the medical device industry for a variety of applications. Below are a few examples and why it is a good choice for that application:
General fluid transfer: Due to the inertness of PEBAX®, it performs very well in cytotoxicity texting and thus is well suited for sensitive blood transfer applications where any disruption of blood cells could have undesirable outcomes. Additionally, it has a slightly higher flexural modulus than many TPEs and performs better in kink resistance testing.
Catheters: Due to its inert nature and ability to produce multi-durometer lengths, PEBAX® is widely accepted as a catheter material of choice. PEBAX® has the ability to be reheated and form multiple components of a continuous length catheter. Since a catheter may require varying hardness along its length, one can use small sections of a hard PEBAX® followed by a soft PEBAX® grade. Additionally, it can easily be extruded into multi-lumen profiles, which is another desirable feature for catheters.
Balloon Tubing: There are two main categories of balloon tubing: compliant (low pressure) balloons and high pressure balloons. PEBAX bridges the two categories because it can be easily coextruded with polyamides to have a higher modulus, but it is softer than traditional low pressure balloons. Due to this lower level of softness, it is still able to maintain a relatively higher burst (depending on durometer, wall thickness and nylon grade) and it can be used and then collapsed for ease of extraction during a procedure.
*PEBAX®® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ARKEMA.
Whatever your PEBAX® needs may be, Saint-Gobain can serve as your commercial resource in bringing your product to market.