Life Sciences and Medical Equipment

Plastic materials for sterilization trays, surgical instrumentation, radiology and medical imaging equipment, and mobility

Medical devices require materials that meet regulatory compliance requirements. Curbell Plastics supplies plastic sheet, rod, and tube materials to meet a variety of compliances including FDA, USP class VI, ISO 13485, and ISO 10993 for medical device manufacturers.

Whether your manufacturing surgical instruments, sterilization trays, or diagnostic equipment, our ISO 9001:2015 certified facilities meet the most rigorous quality management documentation requirements ensuring lot and batch traceability for your applications.

Medical Device Manufacturers Rely on Thermoplastic Materials For:

  • Design flexibility
  • Light weight
  • Resistance to chemicals and repeated sterilization cycles
  • High-temperature performance
  • X-ray opacity
  • Hydrophilicity or hydrophobicity
  • Biocompatibility
  • Welding capabilities

Plastic Materials for Medical Device Applications

abs-sheet-black

ABS

Outstanding impact resistant low cost plastic, easy to machine, and thermoform.

acetal-sheet-rod-tube-bw

Acetal

High strength, stiff, low friction engineering plastic with good wear properties.

acrylic_group-clear

Acrylic

Outstanding strong, stiff, clear plastic available in a variety of brilliant colors and finishes.

hdpe-sheet-bw

HDPE

Durable, versatile, low cost, abrasion and chemically resistant plastic material.

KYDEX® Thermoplastic sheets in various colors stacked and fanned out

KYDEX® Thermoplastic Sheet

High impact, thermoplastic sheet that is tough, durable, and easy to form.

nylon-group-castnylon

Nylon

Strong, stiff engineering plastic often used to replace metal bearings and bushings.

peek-sheet-rod

PEEK

Strong, stiff plastic with outstanding chemical resistance; performs over a wide range of temperatures.

petg-sheet-clear

PETG

Transparent plastic sheet with good impact resistance and outstanding thermoforming characteristics.

polycarbonate-sheet-clear

Polycarbonate

Transparent, strong and stiff thermoplastic with outstanding impact resistance.

film-sheet-opaque-group

Polycarbonate Film

Transparent, general purpose plastic film with excellent ink adhesion.

Three sheets of polyester film fanned out

Polyester Film

Transparent plastic with outstanding strength, dimensional stability, and chemical resistance.

two stacked sheets of white polypropylene

Polypropylene

Low cost, chemical resistant plastic with excellent aesthetic qualities.

pps_group

PPS

Plastic material with excellent chemical and corrosion resistance at elevated temperatures.

ppsu-radel-sheets-black

PPSU

High temperature thermoplastic material with outstanding impact resistance that is autoclavable.

polysulphone-sheet

PSU

High temperature, semi-transparent plastic material with good mechanical properties.

ptfe-group-white

PTFE

Low friction engineering plastic with outstanding chemical, high temperature, and weathering resistance.

ultem-group-multi

Ultem®

High strength plastic with outstanding electrical and high service temperature properties.

Plastic Applications for Medical Devices

  • Dental and surgical instrumentation
  • Diagnostic equipment
  • Patient positioning devices
  • Sterilization trays
  • Wheelchairs
  • X-ray imaging equipment

Plastics  for Demanding Medical Device Requirements

Sterilization Trays

The medical industry relies on durable sterilization trays and lids to protect surgical instruments and other healthcare supplies. Plastics for medical trays, lids, and caddies have good hydrolytic and thermal stability for steam sterilization resistance, superior ergonomics, and are available in many colors.

Curbell supplies autoclavable materials such as Ultem®, PSU, PPSU, and PEEK. Medical grade heat-stabilized polypropylene also has good hydrolytic stability and can withstand approximately 200 autoclave cycles. PPSU can withstand approximately 1,000 autoclave cycles under typical conditions. PPSU, Ultem®, and heat-stabilized polypropylene are often specified for sterilization tray applications.

Medical grade plastic materials used in sterilizable medical devices, trays, caddies, and lids:

Sterilizable medical grade plastics are engineered to meet certain standards for biocompatibility including ISO 10993 and USP Class VI.

Ultem®, PPSU, and PEEK also have good resistance to ethylene oxide sterilization.

Dental and Surgical Instrumentation

Dental and surgical instruments utilize plastic materials for their good ergonomics, sterilizability, machinability, and light weight – allowing the instruments to be handled more precisely. Grips and handles for surgical and dental instruments are frequently machined from medical grade plastic materials.

It is important that healthcare professionals can clearly distinguish between surgical apparatuses and the surrounding body tissue during image-controlled procedures. X-ray opaque plastics for the medical industry are specially formulated for excellent visibility on x-ray and fluoroscopic displays.

X-ray opaque plastic materials designed for use in medical devices and surgical instruments:

Mechanical strength, water absorption, lubricity, wear resistance, and x-ray opacity are important considerations when selecting materials for dental and surgical instrumentation components.

Radiology and Medical Imaging EquipmentLarge, round medical imaging device in a doctor's office

Medical imaging equipment manufacturers rely on high-performance engineering thermoplastics like PEEK and Ultem® for critical components in a variety of technologies including:

  • Magnetic resonance imagery (MRI)
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray
  • C-arms
  • Biopsy units

Mobility Solutions

Patient support structures and contact surfaces can be manufactured from plastic materials with good durability, surface textures, and resistance to cleaning chemicals. Wheelchair manufacturers rely on thermoformable plastics such as ABS and KYDEX® Thermoplastics for their light weight and ease of manufacturing.

Medical plastics compliance table

The below table provides reference to a few of the medical grade materials mentioned and what compliances they meet.

Polypropylene Homopolymer Acetal Copolymer Polycarbonate
Polystone® P MG TECAPRO® MT Sustarin® C MG TUFFAK® FD, clear
USP Class VI
ISO 10993*
FDA
X-ray opaque
Ultem® PEI PPSU
SustaPEI MG Sustason® PPSU MG TECASON® P MT TECASON® P MT XRO®
USP Class VI
ISO 10993*
FDA
X-ray opaque
PEEK PEEK - Carbon Fiber Composite
SustaPEEK MG TECAPEEK® MT TECAPEEK® MT XRO® TECATEC® PEEK MT CF50
USP Class VI
ISO 10993*
FDA
X-ray opaque
*The ISO 10993 series of standards include various evaluations of the biocompatability of medical devices to manage biological risk within a risk management process. Compliance to any particular standard, such as ISO 10993-5 or ISO 10993-10, can only be affirmed by the manufacturer.
NOTE: Compliances may vary depending on the exact grade and product color.

Continue Your Research

Not sure which materials best fit your needs?

Our experienced sales and technical teams are available to assist you with material selection challenges.

FAQs

Which plastics can be sterilized for medical use?

Which plastics meet USP Class VI requirements?

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