Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) offers alternative to nylon in components for single-use systems

The global supply chains for many raw materials and finished goods are experiencing unprecedented shortages and supply interruptions, in particular, the supply of plastic resins.

Polyamide, more commonly known as nylon, is in the midst of a global supply shortage. This traces back to a scarcity of a precursor material, adiponitrile (ADN), one of the main chemical components used to manufacture nylon. Unfortunately, catastrophes such as chemical factory explosions and significant weather events, plus a spike in global demand for nylon, have exacerbated the shortage.

Nylon is used in the manufacture of a variety of components for single-use systems. Specifically, nearly all single-use sanitary clamps and large tubing clamps, which play an essential role in the production of vaccines, are made of glass-filled nylon due to the strength required to connect sub-components together and close off flow on large flexible tubing. Because of surging customer demand, lead times for nylon and these clamps have extended beyond reason. Therefore, manufacturers have no choice but to source an alternative material.

Polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), often compared to nylon, is an alternative resin and is replacing nylon in various engineering and biomedical applications. This thermoplastic polyester has excellent dimensional stability and meets the same performance standards as nylon. It also displays high heat resistance, good chemical resistance and electrical properties. In general, PBT materials exhibit higher tensile, flexural and dielectric strengths and faster, more economical molding characteristics than many thermosets.

As part of our ongoing commitment to business continuity, Qosina continues to proactively assess and mitigate the impact of shortages on our products and customers. We’re pleased to offer sanitary clamps and tube clamps made from PBT that are in stock and ready for immediate delivery. These clamps are ASME-BPE compliant and include regulatory documentation, CAD drawings and validation test data.