PLASTICS IN THE MEDICAL FIELD Polyethylene Bags

When we think of plastic, we think of plastic bags you get at the grocery store or maybe your child’s toy that’s made out of cheap throw away material. If you stop and think about it, plastic is everywhere and it’s uses are almost infinite. Take Acetal or Delrin® ( a Dupont brand name) as it is more commonly know. It is a plastic that replaces metal in numerous applications and is used to make gears, screws and other hard working parts. Consider PTFE for instance which is used to coat your frying pan to make it non-stick, make steam valves and fittings, and chemical resistant parts. Another material is Polycarbonate or Lexan® (a SABIC brand name -formerly G.E. Plastics) which is used to replace glass because it is shatter resistant and is also used for bullet resistant glazing and riot shields. Even the cup of coffee you grab for every morning is made of foamed Styrene – Styrofoam. But plastic has shaped our lives in countless ways, many of them you might not even think of or notice.

Plastic used in medical replacements for limbsPlastics play a big part in the world of medicine. Some other advancements in the area of medicine include assisting people with debilitating injuries and serious afflictions, helping them feel more comfortable and move easier. Prosthetic limbs and joint replacements have come along way since the old days of metal and wood. Since the late 90’s UHMW or (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene) has become the standard in hip and joint replacements. With plastics like UHMW, which has great wear resistance, excellent strength and very low co-efficient of friction (very slippery), it has made people who need these surgeries have better mobility and better quality of life. These plastics also make prosthetic limbs lighter and stronger for athletes who wish to compete and lead near normal active lifestyles due to the use of plastic polymers (derived from the Greek meaning ‘many parts’) mimicking human flexibility. Prosthetic devices date all the way back to the ancient Egyptians where they used leather and wood for toe and foot replacements. But thanks to today’s technologies and advancements in as plastic, most amputees and athletes can regain their quality of life and enabling them to do what they love.

What has Medical Plastic Done For You Lately?

Another plastic material that has changed the medical field is PEEK (Polyetheretherketone). This material is a newer plastic which has high Natural PEEK Medical Grade Rodchemical resistance along with excellent high continuous temperature resistance of up to 480 degrees fahrenheit. PEEK has replaced many metal devices in the medical field, because PEEK is one of the only thermoplastics (plastic which can be bent or shaped) able to withstand high doses of radiation over an extended lifetime. In addition PEEK is used to help many people awaiting kidney transplants because it is used to make a critical component in dialysis machines. These machines need to clean the blood over a period of several hours and because of this, PEEK is the natural solution, as it can be steam cleaned time and time again with little effect on the material. Along with its great chemical, temperature, and fluid handling stability, PEEK is USP Class VI, making it ideal for these types of medical applications. The natural color of PEEK is a beige to tan and is available in sheet and rod. One of the largest manufacturers of PEEK resin is Victrex and their 450G resin.

Plastics In Medicine – Everyday

Plastic materials have become apart of our lives and has changed the way we take care of the sick and injured, how we protect our foods from germs, and prolong the storage of foods. Plastics protect medical instruments and insure they are sterile. It has made people’s lives better in both the short and long term. It has helped reduce pain, gain better movement and has given people their confidence back. The values of plastic can not be understated and in the future, hopefully plastics will save or prolong many more lives through advancements in technology and the limitless possibilities it presents.

For more information on these and other medical grade plastics like: Clear Nylon (look for blog post on this), Ultem, Polysulfone, Radel and more, contact us. E-mail us or call 866-832-9315

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Is Lexan® the same as Makrolon® or Polycarbonate?

The short answer is no, are they very similar, yes. The reason is that both Lexan® and Makrolon® are brand names, along with Hyzod®, Cyrolon®, Zelux®, Paltuf®, Tuffak®, Ensicar®, Unicar®, Texin®, Apex® and many more. Lexan® is a brand name for SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation) which acquired the entire General Electric Plastics division several years ago. Makrolon® (formerly Hyzod®) is a trade name for Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialSciences).

These materials are all Polycarbonate which is a very tough, high impact plastic material. The base resins are very similar, however, the end product varies quite a bit depending on the manufacturer. The Covestro Bayer Makrolon® GP-V material does meet the UL 94 V-0 flame retardant certification (at .220″ thick), and the Makrolon® GP is UL 94 HB rated.

How do I tell the difference between Lexan® and Makrolon®?

Bayer MaterialScience now Covestro

It would be impossible to tell the difference between brands by just looking, unless it still has the masking on, it would take some testing. The majority of both brands of materials are available in a very clear, UV stabilized glazing grade and look identical to the naked eye. This material is excellent for replacing window glass and is virtually unbreakable.

 

Industrial Plastic Supply stocks the Covestro (Bayer) Makrolon® GP Polycarbonate materials in stock and ready for shipment. We have chosen to carry the Covestro Makrolon® Polycarbonate because of its superior quality, physical properties and ratings. You will find these materials available as sheet and rod here. If you have further questions, or would like to see the data sheet on Makrolon® Polycarbonate and/or Lexan® Polycarbonate for comparison, please give us a call: 866-832-9315 or email: request@indplastic.com

This post is part of our effort to answer as many questions for you as possible, and to assist you in choosing the proper material for your applications, this is another very popular question we hear.

Yes, Lexan® and Makrolon® are both Polycarbonate materials. And we believe that the Covestro Makrolon® is the best Polycarbonate sheet available in the market place.

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