Medical grade silicone is used for many purposes thanks to its excellent properties, which include stability in chemical structure and compatibility with the human body. Although silicone is ideal as a medical material, it is still vital to choose the right technology to prepare and produce the silicone for medical use. Here are four things you should know about the processing techniques for medical grade silicone:
Plastic tubing is now replacing the usual metal tubing in some medical devices. This is due to the advancements in thermoplastic polymers. These polymers are lighter, more flexible and lower in cost than metal parts, however, the extrusion process needs to be carefully managed. It can be hard to control the degree of expansion during the production process.
Some great advantages to this method of processing include the possibility of working with high production volumes and offering great flexibility in manufacturing consistent products.
2. Compression moulding
Ideal for larger parts, compression moulding is perfect. This type of moulding is used for items such as isolation bumpers which are used to prevent vibration and diaphragms used with respiratory equipment, where the material needs to be strong as it is designed to help those with breathing difficulties. Thermoset plastic parts can also be made from compression moulding, which can offer a low cost, fast turnaround and a potentially excellent surface finish.
3. Injection moulding
Injection moulding can be used to create complex and intricate medical components. This is a cost-effective way to produce lots of parts using the same mould. Silicone moulding using this injection method is ideal for integrating metal and plastic elements into a part, while the material has enhanced strength for high durability. However, the moulds must be very precisely designed and manufactured by experts, such as http://www.meadex.co.uk/silicone-mouldings.
4. Multiple profile extrusion
MPE enables the extrusion of balloons through the use of a moving mandrel. They can cleverly work with any length of balloon and control the width of the passage carefully. This was originally designed to help with close-wound drainage.
MPE means you don’t need leak testing or secondary bonds as the single tube profile eliminates the requirement to have two tubes. MPE can be used in the extrusion of both elastomers and foams, however, you are limited to using only high consistency rubber in this process.