In response to a federal mandate for a new formulation of Teflon and other PTFEs, Boyd Coatings Research has developed a proprietary chemistry and application process for zero-PFOA PTFE coatings. Unlike some versions on the market that have been plagued by flaking and adhesion problems, the new coatings from Boyd have proven successful on guidewires and other medical devices after nearly a year in the field.

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) has been used for decades in the manufacture of PTFE and other fluoropolymers. It was once thought to be innocuous. But according to the U.S. EPA, PFOA is persistent in the environment, found at very low levels in the blood of the general U.S. population, and causes developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals. For this reason, the major producers of PTFE agreed to eliminate PFOA by 2015.

Moving to zero-PFOA has been a challenge, as many companies use raw PTFE as the basis for their coatings for medical and other applications. But there has been concern among engineers and users that some of the newer coatings made with zero-PFOA PTFE do not have the same performance, adhesion, and reliability as do legacy versions.

At MD&M West, Boyd announced that it now offers a fully-validated, zero-PFOA PTFE coating and application process for medical use that performs as good as or better than older versions. The coating meets FDA requirements, biocompatibility standards, and has been tested extensively for abrasion resistance, adhesion, and other properties. It is also suitable for other applications that demand low-friction surfaces but cannot tolerate oils and lubricants.