ELIX Polymers plastic resin materials, essential for the healthcare sector
Ventilators, inhalers, tubes, IV drip systems, implements and protective equipment for health workers. Many different elements are used in hospitals to treat patients. And now the COVID‑19 health emergency has drawn attention to this. But what are all these elements made of? The answer is plastic.
The versatility and functionality of plastics have made them absolutely indispensable in the healthcare sector. There are different types of plastic resins that are used to manufacture medical equipment, and one of them is ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). The company ELIX Polymers, based in La Canonja, is one of the leading European manufacturers of this material.
The resistance of this material and the fact that it can be adapted and customised to meet each specific need in its final use, as well as the safety and reliability of the different types of ABS manufactured by ELIX have converted it into an essential ally for many medical equipment manufacturers. Furthermore, the healthcare sector is one of the company’s strategic global markets.
Focusing on this market requires a strong commitment to safety and compliance with legislation, a commitment that ELIX has converted into a priority from the start.
For this reason, its materials for the healthcare sector are compliant with the ISO 19993 and USP class VI biocompatibility standards and have been included in Drug Master Files (DMF) for use in medical and food contact applications in both Europe and the USA.
Manufacture of parts
What are the different types of ABS manufactured by ELIX Polymers for the healthcare sector used for? They are mainly used as raw materials for injection moulding and in 3D printing technologies.
As for the creation of parts and components, the different ABS products that ELIX manufactures include raw materials for face shields, ventilator parts, lancing devices, infusion sets, casings for a wide variety of medical devices, inhalers and electro-medical or medical appliances for prevention, monitoring, diagnosis or treatment of diseases.
One of the most widely used materials made by the company in this current coronavirus health emergency context is ELIX M203FC. This material is used to model injection-moulded plastic components and parts for different medical devices such as ventilators, which are currently in such great demand by hospitals, as they are used to treat patients with severe respiratory symptoms.
The other use given to the different types of ABS products manufactured by ELIX Polymers for the healthcare sector is the production of filaments that are subsequently used for 3D printing. Face shields, parts for different medical devices such as ventilators and protective equipment are just three of the end products created with 3D printing technology, in which a product manufactured locally by ELIX is used as a raw material.
In this respect, we should say that the company has made several donations of its ELIX ABS-3D FC product for the printing of different vital elements in the fight against COVID-19. In response to a request by the European Commission, ELIX has made available the necessary quantities of material to manufacture filaments for 3D printers to both companies and individuals. One of the companies that uses the materials donated by ELIX is Ford Motor Company. The automotive company uses 3D printers at its plant in Valencia to create face shields and the raw material used to do this is this material donated by ELIX Polymers.
Supporting the local community
The company’s commitment to join forces in order to overcome the pandemic does not end here. ELIX Polymers is fully committed to the local community and its needs, and so it has donated different materials to local hospitals and risk groups. For example, the company has donated 95 sets of Tycho personal protective equipment to Hospital Joan XXIII. It has also donated the baskets of fruit and nuts it receives every week at its facilities to the health workers at the hospital.
In addition to this, ELIX Polymers has donated thirty FFP2 face masks to the workers of La Muntanyeta, to help them guarantee maximum safety in attending to patients with cerebral palsy at this centre, which are a high-risk group. As well as all the above, it has provided Ambulancias EGARA with plastic covers for octabins (large packaging containers). These covers can be used to make 1,500 sets of protective equipment for its staff. “These are difficult times, but we are convinced that we will be able to get this situation under control through our solidarity and unity”, says Noelia Vázquez, HR and Communication Director at ELIX Polymers.