Sodick injection moulding machines from Plustech, a supplier of precision injection moulding machinery, has showcased the capabilities of its equipment by injection moulding microfluidic chips made of Topas cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) produced by polymer manufacturer, Topas Advanced Polymers at MD&M West.
At the show Sodick has featured the Sodick GL30 micro-injection moulding machine producing a microfluidic part incorporating micro details. The company held a live moulding demonstration to highlight the growing COC in diagnostic products such as microfluidics and microplates.
The Topas COC aims to delivers superior purity, chemical resistance and UV transparency compared to competitive thermoplastics like polystyrene (PS), PMMA (acrylic), and polypropylene (PP). It is also easier to manufacture in volume via simple injection moulding compared to alternatives like glass and silicones.
The polymer also has lower leachables and extractables than competing materials, resulting in the most reliable and repeatable results. The inert nature of the material prevents interference with reactions and analyses. Other important features include the best available UV transparency of any plastic, heat resistance suitable for PCR or sterilisation, and low autofluorescence.
At MD&M West visitors can understand why TOPAS COC is making strong inroads in these microfluidic applications including a unique crystallisation microplate from MiTeGen LLC, a provider of innovative consumables for X-ray diffraction, crystallography, and protein crystallisation for academic, pharmaceutical, industrial, and government research. MiTeGen’s new In-Situ-1 crystallisation plate uses TOPAS COC for its superior moisture vapoor resistance and x-ray transparency compared to competitive thermoplastics.
The Sodick GL30 is a high-performance model that offers excellent repeatability and accurate plasticisation. The machine provides advanced injection for micro features with extremely tight tolerances. It includes Sodick’s V-Line two-stage plunger system, which separates the plasticisation and injection processes for consistent measurement and injection of the melt stream. The 30-ton machine incorporates a true hybrid clamping mechanism utilising an upgraded servo motor-controlled hydraulic pumping system.