Hexpol TPE have officially launched their line of medical TPEs with bio-attributed content at the Compamed 2022 exhibition earlier this week. Based on the mass balance principle, the new line expands the company’s growing portfolio of materials based on non-fossil feedstocks.
The new materials are a drop-in solution, offering identical properties as Hexpol’s conventionally produced medical TPEs. The company said they can replace the fossil polymers in their TPE compounds with the bio-attributed mass-balanced version, to create a 1:1 replacement.
“These mass-balanced TPEs allow customers to meet performance requirements while ensuring the regulatory status and, at the same time, working towards their sustainability goals,” said Inger Haag Olsson, a medical development engineer at Hexpol TPE.
Mass balance allows for a gradual increase of the bio-circular share using existing infrastructure with the target to reduce the use of fossil resources step by step. It is an approach to account for materials entering and leaving a system. The bio-circular feedstock is added at the beginning of the process, traced through intermediate transformations, and allocated to the end product. As both bio-circular and fossil feedstocks are mixed, it is not possible to guarantee a specific concentration in the final product. This is comparable to ‘green’ electricity, where consumers cannot be sure the electricity they use has come directly from renewable sources, but the overall share of green electricity in the grid rises in step with demand.
Third-party verification is required to audit the mass balance allocation and allow for correct product labelling. Hexpol TPE’s Swedish site was among the first TPE compounders to achieve the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) last year.
The new materials will form part of the Mediprene portfolio of TPEs for medical applications. Mass balance versions of their Mediprene 500M standard series are available, as well as customised grades. Typical applications include airway management, face masks, resealable membranes, IV systems, seals and connectors.
Hexpol TPE can provide cradle-to-gate Product Carbon Footprints (PCF) to further inform customers. Hexpol TPE’s PCF methodology is built upon the principles of ISO 14067:2018 for the carbon footprint of products, which is associated with the principles and requirements of ISO standards 14040:2006 and 14044:2006 for life cycle assessment. The PCF provides CO2 equivalent data per kg of TPE, calculated from raw materials and their transportation, product manufacturing and packaging.