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Four Step Plastic Testing Regimen Cheat Sheet by

How to find the right plastic for medical device
testing     medical     manufacturing     devices     plastic


This 4-step testing process, developed by material scientists at Eastman Chemical Co., allows device manufa­cturers to evaluate the heavy toll harsh disinf­ectants take on different plastics. The test enables designers to make more- informed, better decisions regarding material choice.

The fourth step of the process – the reverse side impact test – determines a material’s required robust­ness. It offers a more accurate assessment of how a given material will hold up in a hospital enviro­nment in light of today’s HAI cleaning protocols

Comparing materials

Certain plastic housings perform better than others due to a variety of factors, including the material and how it is molded and assembled. With the number of legacy plastics on the market, medical device designers have skillfully managed to design out some of the stress in particular device compon­ents.

Because designers have become familiar with common plastics, such as polyca­rbo­nate, polyca­rbo­nat­e/PBT, polyca­rbo­nat­e/ABS, and PVC, they have grown accustomed to the relative strengths and weaknesses of each material. In this new era of stringent cleaning demands, designers need more accurate and advanced testing to evaluate standards and new materials

Materials meet HAI challenge

Standard plastics lack the strength to withstand HAI challe­nges, but a new generation of advanced plastics can address this. New plastics can lead to more-d­urable medical device equipment, with a cost difference that frequently pales in comparison to the repair and service costs of a failed device.

Specialty copoly­ester Eastman MXF221 displays greater impact resistance and durability than a host of legacy plastics before and after disinf­ection. The haloge­n-free polymer is currently being deployed or considered for use in a variety of applic­ations that include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) coils, ultrasound probes, buttons, handles, and portable patient monitor units.

Step 1: Select the approp­riate jig

Select the approp­riate jig.

Step 2. Load flex bars onto the jig

Step 3. Apply chemicals to flex bars and

Apply chemicals to flex bars, and enclose sample jig in a plastic bag for 24 hours at room temper­ature.

Step 4. Perform Reverse Side Impact test

Perform the reverse side impact test – this is the differ­ent­iating step.

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