December 2010 | Focus: Medical
Market for medical plastics to grow
The increased demand for medical plastics reflects the shift to an older demographic, resulting in a rising incidence of acute and chronic conditions and an increasing volume of patient activity. This will broaden overall demand for medical devices, supplies and packaging, according to a study from The Freedonia Group Inc. (www.freedoniagroup.com).
- The demand for medical plastics in the United States alone is forecast to expand 2.6 percent annually to five billion pounds in 2012, valued at $6.55 billion.
- Thermoplastic polyester and polypropylene will exhibit the most rapid growth of commodity plastics due to opportunities in pharmaceutical and other medical product packaging.
- Polyvinyl chloride growth will be stimulated by the resin’s versatility, low cost, good performance properties and the introduction of environmentally safer grades.
- Best opportunities for engineering resins are expected in surgical appliances and supplies.
- Polycarbonate will remain the leading engineering resin and exhibit the best growth prospects based on expanded needs for high clarity, impact resistance and other enhanced performance properties.
Multipolymer acrylic alloy for medical devices
Medical device designers, specifiers and molders use a number of polymers whose properties are critical to their use. For transparent medical devices utilizing thermoplastics, the key properties to consider include satisfactory mechanical properties, specifically impact resistance, property retention after sterilization, chemical resistance to commonly used chemicals, and moldability to fill thin parts in multicavity molds. Last, but not least, material biocompatibility is important since it will speed up development cycles of new devices. Read more.
Copolyester helps increase frequency for donated blood
A cry heard constantly around the world is “Please give blood!” The need is never-ending. The quantity available from the existing blood supply, however, is limited both by the number of donors and by the frequency with which they can donate. While unable to do anything to increase the number of donors, there is a copolyester blood collection system that can dramatically increase the frequency with which donors can donate blood. Copolyester exhibits exceptional properties and characteristics that also make them ideal for a wide variety of medical applications. Read more.
Antimicrobial additives enhance value of medical products
Advances in antimicrobial technology have created new additives that bring a unique dimension to enhancing plastics’ value for applications in medical equipment as well as food processing, food packaging and food equipment market segments. Potential uses for these antimicrobial compounds in medical applications include:
- Wound care
- CVC and CVP catheters
- Urinary catheters
- Heart valves
- Pacemaker leads
- Suture rings
- Feeding tubes
- Orthopedic implants
- Small joint replacements
These new antimicrobial compounds are comprised of silver ions bonded to a naturally occurring ceramic material called zeolite, which is completely inert. Read more.
Introduction to Plastics (11th edition) coming in early 2011
The IAPD's Introduction to Plastics is widely considered a must-have resource for all professionals working in the plastics industry and the 11th edition of this valuable training tool will be available in early 2011.
The latest edition features an expanded chapter on fabrication techniques and a whole new chapter on plastic tubing. Overall, the manual focuses on the basic behavior and properties of plastic materials, the uses of plastic materials and discusses many common plastic materials and processes that plastics distributors often encounter. Watch for more announcements on the launch of the 11th edition.
"Material Messages and Fabrication for PETG Sheet " January's free web seminar
Chad Frazier of Eastman Chemical will discuss fitness-for-use attributes of PETG and secondary fabrication techniques such as routing, sawing, laser cutting, bending, thermoforming and bonding. Fabricators with limited knowledge of the FFU and fabrication techniques for PETG sheet — as well as those who currently use PETG sheet — will find this presentation beneficial.
Frazier is a technical service representative in the specialty plastics business organization of Eastman Chemical Company, based in Kingsport, TN.
The web seminar will begin at 10 a.m., Friday, Jan. 21 (CST). Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions as they learn more about this topic.
Online Plastic Resources
Your IAPD distributor is your best source for finding the right material for your application. Go to www.iapd.org to find a distributor in your area. You can search by company name, location or product category.
The IAPD Magazine web site at www.theiapdmagazine.com allows you to search by material, trade name and fabrication process. You can also search for fabrication capabilities.