LinkTech Quick Couplings, a leading global supplier of quick couplings and valves based in Ventura, Calif., has expanded its product line, offering a new quick coupling made of Radel polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) resin from Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, LLC, for surgical sterilization units.
The new product made of Radel PPSU is more chemically resistant than those made of acetal while also boasting reduced maintenance and extended service life.
The quick coupling is an external component that is used to quickly connect/disconnect a hose to transport sterilization solution from a tank/reservoir to the sterilization machine. The new quick coupling consists of a body, internal valve, and end termination which are injection molded of Radel PPSU and then assembled with automation equipment and ultrasonic welding. “We chose Radel PPSU as our primary material for these new couplings because of its superior strength, high thermal capabilities, chemical resistance, and ability to be molded with very low draft angles for cylindrical sealing surfaces without parting lines,” said Dodge Juhan, engineering manager for LinkTech Quick Couplings.
Radel PPSU is a super-tough thermoplastic with high heat resistance, exceptional hydrolytic stability and excellent chemical resistance. It can withstand over 1000 cycles of 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, non-implantable applications.
Previously, quick couplings made of acetal suffered from chemical attack as sterilization solution became entrapped in exposed O-rings and standard shut-off valves. Chemical attack and O-ring damage was the primary cause of frequent and costly maintenance. In addition, entrapped sterilization solution would enter air passages and permanently damage surgical devices.
Thanks to Radel PPSU’s broad processing window, LinkTech Quick Couplings was able to design a cylindrical sealing surface without a parting line and virtually no draft. This permitted the relocation of the sealing O-ring to the mating socket, creating a tightly-sealed system and eliminating a very expensive maintenance headache for the customer.
Radel PPSU’s ability to be molded to tight tolerances allowed LinkTech to design a unique, non-restrictive zero-inclusion automatic shut-off valve to prevent harsh sterilizing solution from entering surgical device air passages and causing damage to the device.
Another key material advantage was the ability to mold a smooth sealing surface for leak-free through-hole mounting, utilizing the company’s exclusive gasket seal technology. Radel resin can also be colored to provide users with an identification method to insure proper product connections.
The quick couplings are specially designed for surgical sterilization equipment and are being sold to leading Fortune 100 equipment manufacturers.
Solvay's Radel PPSU replaces Acetal