LinkTech Quick Couplings, a global supplier of quick couplings and valves, has developed a proprietary quick coupling made of Radel® polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) resin from Solvay Specialty Polymers for surgical sterilization units. Custom designed and developed for a leading medical device manufacturer, the PPSU-based quick coupling provides a cost-effective alternative to metal that reduces weight, simplifies manufacturing, and eliminates machining.
The new quick coupling is an external component used to quickly connect/disconnect a hose that transports sterilization solution from a tank/reservoir to the sterilization unit. The injection-molded, single-body design provides an advantage over standard metal quick couplings made from multipiece components that require assembly with automation equipment and ultrasonic welding.
Radel PPSU is a tough thermoplastic that can withstand over 1,000 cycles of disinfection and steam sterilization without significant loss of properties. It is inherently flame retardant and is resistant to bases and other chemicals. Radel PPSU is also compliant with ISO 10993-1 for limited exposure, nonimplantable applications.
According to LinkTech, Solvay provided valuable technical support including mold flow analysis to help determine optimum gating of the sockets, measuring 4.5-in. long and 0.75-in. high (11.4 cm by 1.9 cm), and the male plugs, measuring 1-in. long and 0.5-in. high (2.5 cm by 1.3 cm).
LinkTech considered competitive engineering plastics for the application but ruled them out due to cost and performance issues. The company has used Radel PPSU in other quick coupling applications.
While the new quick couplings are currently offered on an exclusive basis, LinkTech is considering Radel PPSU for a range of future products.