February 18, 2015

What is amazingly light, incredibly moisture resistant, extremely durable and 100% recyclable? What has clean peel and low lint features as well as superior tear strength and puncture resistance, even when wet? What can maintain the sterility of medical devices for at least five years after terminal sterilization and does not become brittle after gas and ethylene oxide sterilization? 

If you answered Tyvek®, DuPont™’s flashspun high-density polyethylene material, you are absolutely correct. 

Discovered in 1955 when Jim White, a DuPont researcher, noticed white polyethylene fluff coming out of a pipe in a DuPont experimental lab, today Tyvek has a wide variety of uses, from house wrap to envelopes to protective coveralls to event wristbands and, of course, medical packaging. 

In fact, Tyvek offers so many advantages when it comes to medical packaging, it has become the material of choice for pouches and lid stock and has been the impetus for advances such as newer sterilization techniques, improved drug delivery systems and innovative packaging designs. 

Case in point, the use of Tyvek was key to the development of TEQethylene™, TEQ’s sterile barrier system made from a proprietary blend of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and adhesive-coated Tyvek. While our new HDPE blend has less environmental impact than other materials and offers many additional benefits over conventional HDPE such as better clarity for improved visibility and seal inspection, better durability to hold up to the sterilization process and better processing and dimensional control – when used in combination with Tyvek lidding, the result is a monopolymer package that is recyclable. 

This single stream recyclable medical packaging solution helps remove one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to recycling in hospitals, the fact that sterile barrier systems often consist of more than one material, and hospital staff simply don’t have the time or interest in separating lids and trays for recycling. 

What about you? Does your business or industry utilize Tyvek in an innovative way?