Any supplies used in the medical field need to meet high quality and safety standards, along with strict industry regulations. There are a variety of plastics that fill important needs in this space due to their customizability and high-performance properties and a plastic films supplier can help you.
Specifically, plastic films are commonly used in the production and packaging of medical devices, like diagnostic strips, thermometers, and even surgical equipment. These materials must be durable enough for use in important medical settings and resistant to chemicals to withstand various cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
Within the realm of plastic films, there are several specific materials that fill various needs for medical device manufacturers and users. Here’s a rundown of some of these materials and their potential applications within the industry. Once you have an understanding of these concepts, you’ll be better equipped to reach out to a plastic films supplier who can meet your specific needs.
Medical Uses for Plastic Film
A plastic films supplier can offer materials that are useful in a huge array of medical devices, from equipment to packaging. There’s an almost endless list of potential applications. But here’s an explanation of a few of the most common ones.
Diagnostic test strips can be used to diagnose various conditions or test the amount of a particular substance in a patient’s urine, saliva, or blood. For example, they’re commonly used by diabetics to measure glucose concentration via finger prick. Once the material is applied to the strip, it may change colors or display a line or other marking to indicate the results. This requires a very careful mix of chemicals and base materials. Plastic films offer the protection needed to keep the diagnostic material in place, while still allowing the patient or medical provider to easily apply whatever material is needed to obtain accurate results.
Medical tubing can be used in a huge array of medical devices. Basically, any device that administers fluid or needs to allow for gas flow from one part of the machine to another likely uses some kind of tubing. These tubes must be strong and durable enough to protect the fluid or gas inside, but still thick and flexible enough to bend and reach patients or connect multiple components together. Medical tubing is often used with ventilators, IVs, breast pumps, and a huge array of other equipment.
Finally, plastic film is also incredibly common in medical device packaging and protective covers. Since it is so thin but solid, it can be applied directly to the surface of devices that need to remain sterile. Or it can be used in outer packaging materials as well. For example, sterile tools that are generally used one time, like surgical knives, syringes, or tongue depressors are often housed in a wrap that needs to be completely sealed until the item is ready for use. Plastic provides the protection needed to keep patients safe while also offering lightweight, durable material that works for equipment manufacturers and clinicians.
Comparison of Films for Medical Device Applications
Since there are so many different applications for plastic films within the world of medical devices, there are tons of specific materials that manufacturers can use to create these products and packaging solutions. Here are a few common ones:
ABS, or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, is a type of amorphous plastic that offers mechanical toughness and impact resistance. It is easy to fabricate, and it can even be thermoformed by applying heat to create specific shapes. Because of these qualities, it can be a useful material for packaging various tools and supplies.
Acrylic and polycarbonate films are both useful in medical device applications where visual clarity and impact resistance are necessary. In their solid forms, they both offer impact strength higher than that of glass. So as films, they provide protective surfaces over clear parts or any expensive devices that need extra durability. Both are also thermoplastics, so they can easily adapt to various shapes and forms.
PVC is a flexible yet tough material that is resistant to scratches and kinks. This makes it particularly well suited for medical devices that require tubing. The mix of strength and softness make it easy to form but durable enough to hold up in these applications.
Fluoropolymers encompass a variety of specific plastics that are composed of carbon-fluorine bonds. They are commonly used in medical devices because they are incredibly chemical resistant. They can even hold up against an array of solvents, acids, and bases, which makes them ideal for medical surface coverings that may need to be cleaned and sanitized for safety, or any areas that are exposed to medical chemicals. They’re also able to hold up well against friction, corrosion, and extreme temperatures.
These are just a few of the specific plastic films that are staples in the world of medical device manufacturing and packaging. Many others, including PETG, PPE, Urethane, APET, HDPE, LDPE, and HIPS also provide benefits within the industry. Working with a knowledgeable plastic films supplier can help you identify the specific materials and conversion capabilities to meet the needs of your specific applications.
If you’re looking for a plastic films supplier that can help you find and customize the best materials for use in various medical devices, reach out to PolymerFilms. We work with various clients throughout the medical field, from medical device manufacturers to packaging companies. Our plastics come from top brands and we offer world-class conversion services to ensure each client gets the precise materials, sizes, and gauges needed for their applications. Additionally, our knowledgeable team is always happy to provide guidance and expertise. And our five distribution centers are spread throughout North America to ensure fast service and turnaround times. Visit our website to request a free consultation and see what type of difference a quality plastic films supplier can make when it comes to medical devices.