A thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) tube welder is a machine that allows you to fuse the hose and thus connect or disconnect devices for sterile processing. There are many different types of machines that can carry out this operation such as single-use items sealing zones, lugs, etc.) as well as fusion sealing machines such as sterile connectors and sterile disconnectors which are multi-use equipment.
Like the TPE tube welder, the sterile connector is a multiple-use device which allows you to connect your process devices while simultaneously guaranteeing aseptic connection of all your tubing thanks to heat sealing and thus avoiding any risk of microbe proliferation.
The different types of tubes that can be connected to this machine tool are those tubes ranging in diameter from 1/4″ to 1″, as used in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical industries. The automatic welding cycle also ensures quality connections.
The longevity of the blades, with each blade guaranteeing up to 200 welds, optimizes the productivity of operators. Even more importantly, operators can use the sterile connector outside the zone, without having to go into the sterile zone themselves.
This multipurpose equipment can be used in clean rooms and allows you to separate the pipes connecting your process devices aseptically. Compatible with new or autoclaved hoses of 1/4″, 1/2″ and 3/4″ in diameter, the sterile disconnector ensures that any form of microorganisms that can contaminate the tubes are destroyed by heat sealing. Its multi-language interface makes it usable worldwide.In addition, it simply plugs into the 220/230V – 50/60 Hz mains.
The sterile disconnector is accompanied by several sets of anodized aluminum jaws which allow it to support different formats. Operators can safely use it to cut C-Flex® type hoses.
The different TPE tubes compatible with the welder
.TPE tubes are part of the equipment used in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical sectors. Generally, thermoplastic elastomer tubes are used for the treatment and transfer of fluids between two or more process devices.
There are many differentTPE tubes on the market from various brands with the C-Flex® tube from Saint-Gobain and the Advantaflex® flexible hoses from Advantapure being the best known. The thermoplastic elastomer tube is designed to be easy to disconnect and connect using dedicated devices such as the TPE tube welder designed and manufactured by MGA Technologies.
TPE tube brands
There are many different TPE tube brands available on the market, so let’s take a look at the 5 biggest brands out there
Saint-Gobain group’s C-Flex® Tubes.
As mentioned above, C-Flex® brand TPE tubes are manufactured by the Saint-Gobain group. The group designs hoses developed for the treatment of single-use fluids for industrial biotechnology and pharmaceutical applications.
Mouldable, formable and bondable, C-Flex® tubing is ideal for manifolds, bag manifolds and overmolds. Pharmaceutical grade thermoplastic elastomers are used for their manufacture.
Saint Gobain also produces C-Flex® brand braided tubing, which is reinforced tubing, specially designed to meet the various biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical requirements in high pressure fluid handling. Braided with reinforced polyester, C-Flex® braided tubing is made with C-Flex Formula 082, a clear animal-derived material-free (ADCF) resin.
AdvantaPure group’s AdvantaFlex® Tubes
AdvantaFlex® tubes, also mentioned above, are the most commonly used tubes for the transfer and treatment of fluids in pharma and biotech. They have all the characteristics of tubes used in biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of fluids: sterilizable, flexible, mouldable, heat-sealable and weldable, translucent. AdvantaFlex® brand tubing has the added advantage of retaining its physical properties even after various sterilization processes. They also offer good visibility on the flow of products since they remain translucent while avoiding becoming gummy and have a high resistance to unwanted creases, folds and bends.
Saint-Gobain PharmaPure® Tubes
PharmaPure® tubes are classified as premium branded tubes. They are intended for peristaltic pumps and are biologically compatible. These tubes are specially designed for the pharmaceutical industry, laboratories and biotech with ultra low spallation. They have a very long service life and offer minimal permeability
Downtime for pump tube failures is significantly reduced due to their characteristics. They are the most suitable tubes for sensitive cell cultures, purification and sterile filling, separation, fermentation and process monitoring.
Saint-Gobain SaniPure® Tubes
These tubes are suitable for single-use systems in bioprocessing. Easily weldable and sealable for aseptic disconnections and connections, they enable the management of the transfer of sensitive biological fluids. The tubes also protect the fluids from contamination.
The risks of particle entrapment and microscopic buildup during biopharmaceutical manufacturing are greatly reduced due to their extremely smooth internal bore. Free from components of animal origin, they also have low absorption.
They combine low absorption and peristaltic pump life with the characteristics of traditional silicone tubing. Their absorption rate is, in fact, much lower than that of silicone tubes. This is ideal when the absorption of preservative and protein is essential. In addition, they do not contain any component of animal origin.
Saint-Gobain PharMed® Tubes
The design of PharMed® tubes has been specially thought out so that they offer the biocompatible fluid surface necessary for sensitive bioprocess applications and have a high resistance to peristaltic pumping. Their longevity in bending makes the manufacturing process of biopharmaceuticals easier. As a result, production downtime due to pump tube failure is significantly reduced. They also have properties that allow them to improve the overall efficiency of filter systems through the reduction in erosion of the inner walls of the tubes.
The different forms of TPE Welders
The TPE tube welder comes in many forms. The two main families of techniques used to carry out the disconnection and connection of hoses supporting thermo-fusion are the following:
- Single-use elements: single-use equipment is distinguished by small lugs, which are available on the tube or which are integrated before installation, and which allow the hose to be disconnected. The hoses must therefore be disconnected at the unique places predefined by the supplier or else buy and store the lugs in huge quantities. In addition, single-use elements do not use the properties of thermoplastic elastomer tubing,
- Multi-purpose machine tool: this device has the particularity of allowing you to use the properties of TPE tubes. The tube is sealed and heated to melting point and is held in place by clamps. After melting, the machine reduces the temperature of the tube so that the operator can handle it easily and cut it with a pair of scissors.
Operating a MGA Technologies Welder
The MGA Technologies welder is a machine tool that allows you to disconnect your process devices. It consists of a pair of ceramic clamps, a control box for initiating the disconnection process with an LED screen that displays the status of the operation.
By melting the tube and maintaining the temperature, the machine guarantees the destruction of all micro-organisms that may be present on each side of its jaws (grippers). This ensures a perfectly aseptic disconnection meeting the strict requirements and needs of the biotech, medical and pharmaceutical industries.
Once melting and temperature maintenance is complete, a vane pump built into the machine cools the clamps which are then unlocked to release the tube. The harmless temperature level allows your operator to manipulate the hose to check the state of fusion, then cut and section it as required.
Technical Characteristics of a TPE tube welder
The technical specificities of the MGA Technologies TPE tube welder are the following:
- Suitable for disconnecting autoclaved or new thermoplastic elastomer tubing, Advantaflex®, C-Flex®,
- Compatible tube diameters: 1/4″, 1/2″ and 3/4″.
- Aluminum jaw sets come with the machine for ease of use,
- Mains connection: 220/230V – 50/60 Hz,
- Weight of tools: 5.1 kg total (disconnect pliers: 2.1 kg, control box: 3 kg),
- Normal operating temperature: -5°C to 40°C,
- Multilingual interface to facilitate its use in all your factories, agencies and R&D centers located around the world,
- French made,
- Dedicated after-sales service in France.
About MGA Technologies
MGA Technologies is a Lyon-based company specializing in the design and manufacture of special tailor-made machines dedicated to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical industries with control needs in clean environments, including the TPE tube welder. It also designs specific tools for the electrical and mechanical industries that have assembly needs.
MGA Technologies is also strengthening its robotics and mechatronics team and offers support services throughout your investment projects.
Need a personalized quote ?
You can request a brochure if you wish to have more information on the MGA Technologies machine tool dedicated to hose disconnection. Get a personalized quote by contacting the company’s technical team directly.