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HCL Technologies

An Overview of the Plastic Material Selection Process for Medical Devices

An Overview of the Plastic Material Selection Process for Medical Devices

The current market trend toward increased safety and quality at a reasonable cost has urged the medical industry to select bio- compatible, clean, and environmentally-friendly materials to meet safety, manufacturability, and functionality requirements for medical products. At the same time, these requirements pose constraints and challenges on the materials selected during product development for medical devices and instruments.

Applications in the healthcare industry and medical devices in particular, have some demanding requirements for thermoplastic materials that are unique to this arena. While polymers have been used in the healthcare industry for decades, it has only been in the recent past the designers have started to explore the benefits of using special compounds in medical applications.

Metal has been the traditional material of choice for orthopedic or any surgical instrumentation, but new plastic resins, combined with scientific process development and validation, are now making inroads into those markets.

Unique technologies related to anti-static, raidopacic, wear-resistant and elastomeric compounds that have made an impact in other industries are just now finding their way into medical devices.

This paper presents an overview of the plastic material selection process, with specific emphasis on the unique requirements of medical applications.