Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Let's get straight to it.
Do you have questions ? We have answers. Browse the topics below to find what you're looking for.
#1: How much material do I need to make a sample?
Just the right amount.
The VCM process is lossless. 1 gram powder will result in a solid sample of 1 gram without air inclusions or bubbles. If you work with expensive materials and your material characterization allows small samples sizes you need in general less than 100 mg for your characterization.
Samples with 2 mm in diameter and 1 mm in height would require only a few mg of material.
#2: Who uses VCM Technology?
In pharma 4 out of the top 10 companies, are using VCM for Hot Melt Extrusion developments. But the technology is strongly also used in other industries like food and plastics. We follow our customers' publications and list them on our publication page.
#3: What is the minimum thickness of the sample?
Wide range of choices.
We suggest thicknesses between 0.1 and 10 mm for the VCM samples. Thickness may also depend on the material characteristics.
If you have elastic polymers like TPU (Thermoplastic Poly Urethane) or EVA (Ethyl-Vinyl-Acetate) you can also reach thinner layers in the range of 50 µm for example.
#4: How many layers can you make?
We have demonstrated in the NuvaRing Screening (click to see the publication) a system of 3 layers. We do have some customers working on implants who are evaluating systems with up to 10 different layers. It's important to note that the materials need to be compatible. Adhesion, similar melting points and similar viscosity levels at the processing temperatures are required.
Multilayer Sample with distinct layers and sharp interface(s)
#5: Can the PTFE foils be reused?
Comfortable and easy.
Yes, the foils are reusable. The PTFE Foils are glass-fiber reinforced. That means the Teflon does not flow and keeps its shape. That's why they can be reused several times. As a rule of thumb, we recommend using them 10 times before they should be replaced.