With escalating Covid-19 cases globally, more people are electing to have medical aid in a home environment. A growing trend in this sector is the use of durable medical equipment to assist the disadvantaged in their daily activities.
Durable medical equipment includes wheelchairs (manual and electric), hospital beds, traction equipment, canes, crutches, walkers, kidney machines, ventilators, oxygen monitors, pressure mattresses, electric patient lift and nebulizers.
Medical equipment should be reliable, durable and able to accomplish safety intendments in the medical and healthcare industry. That’s why thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) materials are fast becoming choice material for many medical applications.
KRAIBURG TPE, a global TPE manufacturer of a wide range of thermoplastic elastomer products and custom solutions for multiple industries, offers high-quality TPE materials for medical applications.
Flexibility and safety are vital factors
The selection of TPE compounds used in the durable medical equipment sector depends on the requirements of manufacturers or OEMs.
KRAIBURG TPE’s compounds allow medical equipment design engineers to have ultimate flexibility in equipment design.
KRAIBURG TPE’s THERMOLAST® K and THERMOLAST® M portfolio and custom-engineered TPE can support the manufacturer’s most demanding product development needs and requirements.
In addition, both TPE product lines are free from heavy metals, phthalates, latex and PVC.
Other benefits include the compound’s processibility through injection molding and extrusion processes. Various color options are also available with the assurance of worldwide consistent color quality.
Lasting benefits for medical equipment
KRAIBURG TPE’s THERMOLAST® K series consists of a wide hardness range from supersoft (>10 Shore A) up to 66 Shore D, and is also resistant to abrasions, and scratches, allowing for long-lasting medical equipment.
For safety, the selected series complies with the relevant FDA-Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 21, and standard EN 71/3 regulations as well as China GB standards. Examples from the THERMOLAST® K series include the FC/CS compound, a food-grade compound with good compression set and adhesion with PP and PE. The soft touch surface property makes it ideal for handle and grip applications of crutches, walkers, canes, hospital bed push buttons, electric patient lift belts, inhalation machine, membrane patch for TENS, pain reliver device surface, sealing for devices, etc.
Meanwhile, for non-food grade TPE such as VS/AD/HM series affords good adhesion with a range of polymers such as PC, ABS, ASA, SAN and PA. It is soft and velvety, abrasion and scratch resistant, as well as resistant to skin oil. These advantages make it suitable for diverse applications such as handles, knee adductor pads, limb contracture splint and protectors.
Medical-grade TPE makes the mark
The medical-grade THERMOLAST® M series meets the VDI 2017 and ISO 10993-5 standards requirements as well as listed in the Drug Master File.
This series also affords optimum safety with excellent control management in KRAIBURG TPE’s Medical Service Package, which assures optimum raw materials purity and a guaranteed 24-month supply security.
An example of the THERMOLAST® M is the MC/AD1 series that offers good adhesion with polar thermoplastics like PC, ABS, PC/ABS, ASA, SAN, PET, PETG and PS. Besides being sterilizable, the compound is abrasion resistant and is available in natural color.
The soft touch feature allows for possible applications such as seals, flexible connections, and valves for medical applications.