High-performance closed cell, crosslinked fluoropolymer foam helps ensure safe and secure transportation of ultra-cold chain vaccine
As part of the USA’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas, USA-based InsulFab has harnessed the unique properties of ZOTEK® F high-performance foam. Produced by Zotefoams (www.zotefoams.com) – a pioneer in the manufacture of cellular materials – ZOTEK F is a closed cell, crosslinked fluoropolymer foam that InsulFab has selected for the production of high-quality packaging trays for the secure transportation of glass vials containing ultra-cold chain (requiring storage and transportation at -70°C) vaccine.
ZOTEK F foam is manufactured from FDA-approved PVDF polymer. In common with other ZOTEK and AZOTE® materials from Zotefoams, it is produced using temperature, pressure and nitrogen borrowed from the atmosphere. The combination of foaming process and polymer performance delivers desirable properties including purity, excellent fire resistance, durability, thermal insulation and high- and low-temperature resistance compared to standard open and closed cell alternatives. Additionally, they have a non-absorbent surface that is easy to clean and does not promote bacterial or viral growth and are tolerant of disinfectant substances and processes used in medical environments, including UV lights.
Easily converted and adapted for CNC routing, waterjet cutting and thermoforming, Zotefoams materials are well-suited for securely storing and transporting frozen vials, even at extreme temperatures and vials remain easy to remove from their individual pockets.
Andy Webb, President of Sales and Marketing at InsulFab comments: “Once again, the service and support from Zotefoams during this important project has been excellent. By continuing to use ZOTEK F foam in the manufacture of glass vial enclosures, InsulFab has helped ensure the integrity of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the fight against the global pandemic.”
James Bridges, Zotefoams’ Director of High-Performance Products at Zotefoams, adds: “Transporting and distributing ultra-cold chain vaccines is an unprecedented logistical challenge as the vials need to stay within a specific temperature range from production through to administration in hospitals and specialist centres to ensure efficacy.
“We are delighted that ZOTEK F has helped InsulFab offer a safe and effective delivery solution for the COVID-19 vaccine, demonstrating yet again that however demanding the application, Zotefoams offers the optimal material.”
The purity, consistency and ease of processing exhibited by Zotefoams materials means that they are frequently specified for medical packaging applications – with minimal VOC content they are odour-free and skin-friendly. The company is currently partnering with customers globally on vaccine packaging projects.
Operation Warp Speed (OWS) is a public-private partnership initiated by the US Government to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics (collectively known as countermeasures).