TOPAS Advanced Polymers

Cycloolefin Polymer

Cycloolefin polymers are materials that contain, or are made from, at least one cyclic monomer. The term is most often used to refer to cyclic olefin polymers and copolymers. At TOPAS Advanced Polymers, we manufacture and market the TOPAS brand of cyclic olefin copolymers, or COC. These plastic materials have a number of exceptional properties, and are used in a wide range of markets and applications.

Healthcare

TOPAS COC is an incredibly pure medical grade cycloolefin polymer - in fact, it's purer than most grades of medical glass. Unlike glass, it has a non-ionic, inert surface to minimize denaturation, agglomeration, delamination and other traditional glass concerns. Medical grades of TOPAS COC are extremely clear, and are optically suitable for replacing glass in many applications. The risk of breakage, which can result in device failure and product loss, is greatly reduced when using a medical grade plastic rather than glass. Light weight is a leading advantage of COC, as is the ability to create more sophisticated and complex designs than glass or other polymers. And when it comes to maintaining purity, TOPAS medical grade plastics can be sterilized via all common methods. Leachables and extractables are extremely low. Reduce risk and increase performance by maintaining the benign, protective environment that TOPAS COC-based medical devices provide.

TOPAS COC enables miniaturization of delivery systems, eliminating the limitations of glass. New systems take advantage of the design freedom of TOPAS cycloolefin polymer. With amazing detail reproduction, high flow for complex geometries, and excellent dimensional stability, it's become the clear choice for the compact, lightweight precision delivery devices of tomorrow. Details as small as submicron scale are molded into TOPAS COC to enable technologies such as microfluidics in advanced devices.

The healthcare industry leadership position of TOPAS Advanced Polymers was recently demonstrated when TOPAS COC became the first commercial line of plastics to certify compliance with the new USP <661.1> standard. Follow the industry leader and rely on our USP Class VI / ISO 10993 series of medical grade materials for your next medical device. Please contact us for FDA Device Master File (MAF) and Drug Master File (DMF) information.

Diagnostics and Life Sciences

Exceptionally transparent to UV and visible light, TOPAS cycloolefin copolymer is the clear choice for diagnostic and analytical applications. We produce TOPAS grades with transmission at wavelengths as low as 220 nm, superior to all other polymers. For transmission in the UVA and UVB ranges, and even the upper part of the UVC wavelength range, TOPAS COC is the best solution.

Healthcare and analytical environments can be challenging to ordinary plastics. In particular, clinical analyses rely on materials as varied as alcohols, DMSO, acetone, acids, bases, and more. TOPAS COC is extremely resistant to these and other polar materials that can wreak havoc with many common plastics. This makes TOPAS COC the best solution for a growing list of diagnostic, microfluidic, and point-of-care products. Microplates, cuvettes and other disposables use TOPAS COC instead of PP, PS or PC whenever purity is key to consistent results. Bone cement mixers rely on the resistance of TOPAS cycloolefin copolymer resins to methacrylic acid, a key component of bone cement.

Packaging

For both food and general-purpose packaging, TOPAS cycloolefin plastics are used as enhancers or additives to deliver performance ordinary olefin resins (PE and PP) cannot reach alone. Twist films, air pillow packs, shrink labels, medical blister packs, easy tear films, barrier films, and thermoformable film and sheet all benefit from TOPAS COC. Blending and coextrusion are both widely used by our customers to manufacture high performance films. For rigid containers, TOPAS adds attractive gloss to EBM HDPE bottles. Our special elastomer grade improves the barrier of closures to preserve freshness.

Electronics and Optics

TOPAS cycloolefin polymer is in many ways the most glass-like of all plastics. It is used in many optical applications. It also has electrical properties, such as low dielectric constant, that are matched only by fluoropolymers. This makes TOPAS COC an attractive material for electronic components such as antennas, and in other high frequency applications.

Consistent Properties for Reliable Performance

Many polymers are sensitive to moisture, meaning that when humidity changes, films and components may suffer subtle shifts in dimension and other properties. TOPAS cyclic olefin polymer is unaffected by moisture, and because most grades are 100% amorphous, dimensional accuracy is not affected by crystallization as many plastics can be.  When precise and consistent performance is essential, TOPAS COC is the safe choice for tight tolerances.

Heat Resistance

The family of TOPAS cyclic olefin plastics includes grades with heat resistance up to 170C. In healthcare applications, temperature resistance is often important for steam sterilization of devices. Diagnostic devices employing PCR technology may be designed to operate at 90C to 100C. Wearables may need to perform in hot climates, or survive hot storage. In packaging, resistance to heat is helpful when films are printed or metallized, or when packages are hot filled. The heat sealing process also requires a certain level of heat resistance. With a family of cycloolefin grades delivering various levels of heat resistance, you can select the TOPAS COC product that exactly matches your needs.

Barrier

Most plastics are poor barriers to moisture and chemicals, leading to a short shelf life. TOPAS cycloolefin copolymers have exceptional moisture barrier properties, and resist permeation by other substances as well, as noted above. In applications such as packaging, prefilled syringes, and electronics, performance is preserved by preventing permeation. Examples include pharmaceutical blister packs, nicotine patch packaging, and primary pharmaceutical containers.

Processing

TOPAS cycloolefin polymers can be processed by most common thermoplastic resin techniques. Injection molding, cast and blown film extrusion, blow molding (EBM, IBM, and ISBM) are all widely utilized. Flexible or soft items can be made from TOPAS Elastomer E-140, an elastomeric grade of COC with high purity that can be injection molded, overmolded or extruded into films. For development of microfluidic devices, a 3D printing system is available from Dolomite to speed the design process. Developmental parts can also be machines from plaques or other stock shapes.