To Seam or Not to Seam: Polyzen Creates a Robust Seam in RF Welding of Ultra-Thin Films
Polyzen gains a competitive advantage with the optimization of their proprietary process for RF welding of ultra-thin films in almost any geometric configuration. The process is advantageous for the development of barrier sleeves for infection control or specialty low-pressure balloons for applications within therapeutic, diagnostic, or drug-delivery medical devices.
Polyzen’s intellectual property surrounding this process has resulted in the production of medical device components that continuously meet increasing demands in the medical and surgical fields where “there is a substantial need for effective and reliable infection and contaminant-control barrier products, where any breach in the barrier material through porosity, permeability, or structural weakness is undesirable,” states Tilak Shah, the CEO of Polyzen, Inc. of Apex. The company has achieved a quality-standard threshold that allows for the production of seams that are as strong as the actual film itself, resulting in resilient product performance. RF welding is a dielectric heating process used to seal polar elastomeric films together with very thin, hairline seams that are soft and supple. It is ideal for welding two or more layers of thin films together when making such devices as low pressure balloons, bags, and barrier sleeves. This process can also be scaled up for high-volume production.
“Until recently, the RF welding of thin layers of polyurethane in the ranges of 0.5 to 1.5 mils resulted in wrinkles, pinholes, and non-uniform seam width,” Tilak Shah says, discussing the challenges faced by the industry. “The use of thin polyurethane film has been precluded because of the lack of a safe and reliable welding method that preserved the integrity of the seam formed by the weld while creating a seam that was of high quality acceptable to users,” he added.
Polyzen has stepped up to the challenge and exceeded expectations by prevailing as the thin-film welding connoisseur, with capabilities to RF weld polyurethane film as thin as 0.5 mils (13 microns) and the unique ability to maintain uniform seam width, all while attaining a variety of shape and size configurations. The most common materials used in RF welding have typically included PVC, polyurethane, and EVA, however, Polyzen has additional capabilities welding other polymers such as polyamides, polyesters, polyvinylidine fluoride, specialty formulated TPEs, and olefin films.
The applications of thin-film welding are innumerable and are optimized by the efficiency and continuity performance of the process. Any thermoplastic elastomer material can be welded to form a weld seam to produce various medical devices including, barrier products, multi-layer articulated balloons, gloves, condoms, inflatable catheter balloon cuffs, bladders, specialty bags, and bioreactor bag liners.
Polyzen’s unparalleled expertise in material science, polymer formulation, and specialty compounds, coupled with decades of experience in the medical device industry, add significant value, enabling efficiency and speed-to-market when delivering solutions to both small and large medical device OEMs worldwide. Polyzen is a renowned innovator in various processes including dip molding, thin-film thermoforming, and RF welding, specialty coating and drug immobilizing in film, with further capabilities in thin-walled, small-diameter lay-flat tubing and film extrusions.