(plasticstoday) -- Arkema feels
confident it can continue to meet demands to medical customers "for life-saving
applications" of Pebax elastomer although customers in other markets, such as
sporting goods and automotive, will need to use "extremely close"
A force majeure on Pebax was declared last month due to the
explosion March 31 at an Evonik plant that produced cyclododecatriene (CDT), a
raw material used to produce lactam 12. The plant was the largest producer of
CDT in the world and is expected to be closed until the end of the year. Lactam
12 is the primary monomer used to make nylon 12 and Pebax
Pebax, which is a thermoplastic elastomer made up of block
copolymers consisting of a sequence of polyamide and polyether segments, is
sole-sourced in the manufacturing of balloon catheters used to open blood
vessels close to the heart. Many patients require angioplasty to widen a
narrowed or obstructed blood vessel within hours or days of first feeling pain
or other symptoms of constricted blood flow to the heart. The alternative would
be open heart surgery in many cases.