Here are some materials that make up medical plastic molding:
Polyethylene: It is a lightweight, elastic, sturdy, and biologically inert material that barely withstands high sterilization temperatures. Mostly, polyethylene is used for medical supplies like dispensing bottles, medical implants, and intravenous tubes. Further, its variations, such as low-density polyethylene (LDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW), offer varying rigidity and durability levels. It is common for UHMW polyethylene to be used in prosthetics for joints like the hip and knee.
Polypropylene: It is a sturdy material that is capable of weathering the ultra-high temperatures associated with autoclave and radiation sterilization procedures. It’s therefore the ideal material for reusable medical equipment like beakers, pipettes, syringes, and test tubes.
Polystyrene: It’s a material known for its toughness, biocompatibility, and ability to remain stable in high-temperature and harsh chemical environments. It’s transparent and less elastic when compared to other medical grade plastics. It’s mainly used in making diagnostic equipment, Petri dishes, and test tubes.
Polycarbonate: A sturdy, transparent material that is resistant to high temperature, force, and UV radiation. These properties make it the most suitable in making dialysis equipment, intravenous connectors, and various surgical apparatuses.
Using plastic in place of metal in medical equipment reduces the potential negative effects of contamination, corrosion, and patient reactivities. Given the stringent standards of the medical industry and the need to ensure patient health and safety, molded plastics are better materials due to their physical and chemical properties.
Considering Part Quantity
Production quantity is a vital consideration when coming up with the design for medical components. With multi-cavity molds, it is possible to produce high quantities of injection-molded parts. In turn, this increases the production efficiency. Injection molding comes in handy when manufacturing complex but common components. With proper planning, it is possible to quickly and efficiently manufacture high-quality components using molds.
Maintaining a Low Design Cost
You can manufacture complex parts with less through injection molding. Unlike with metal, the production and forming of plastic is less expensive. What’s more, there is less material waste with injection molding. The ease of molding and forming plastic is mainly why injection molding is a faster, simpler, and cost-effective method of manufacturing equipment.
Choosing a manufacturer with a variety of press sizes and a wide range of manufacturing and tooling capabilities helps you keep costs down while getting the best service. Ideally, you should use one manufacturer to avoid streamlining and overhead costs.