Two healthcare plastic forms exist for most applications. The cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) plastic is the newer material due to advances in technology. Meanwhile, the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the standard material for most applications. Both types of plastic materials are good for general use. However, specific healthcare applications will require certified ratings of the plastic material used as safety precautions. The following are common categories used to verify the suitability of the healthcare plastic used in healthcare the industry.
Density affects the overall weight of materials made from the plastic. The PET is denser than the COC, although they all have very low densities of about 1 to 1.4 g/cm3. The negligible difference implies that it would be easy to swipe COC for PET while retaining all functionality needs.
The elasticity component is significantly important when molding the plastic in high heat environments. The plastics need to have a low enough elastic rating to make sure they will retain their shape after cooling. You would also not want a material that interferes with the contents placed within it. Elasticity is also a salient factor when considering the right material for covering substances or equipment in a clinic.
Ease of molding
The ease of molding COC is similar to that of PET. However, this characteristic is most relevant to manufacturers. Many businesses require products with an already existing design so that they could apply them to immediate uses. Nonetheless, knowing the ease of molding helps to determine whether the material will be useful for recycling later.
Elongation at break
This category refers to the ability of the material to break when elongated beyond its stretching point. The PET has a higher elongation percentage compared to the COC. The difference implies that you are likely to stretch PET longer than you can stretch COC. The COC will break at 2.5 points while the elongation points for PET range from 2.5 to 70.
Moisture barrier properties
A high moisture barrier is something worth considering. Transparent plastics are in use in many medical applications. In healthcare, they are the preference for gloves and the safety bags used for handling equipment. They must also be non-porous to protect the user. New plastic forming materials offer better strength, transparency, and non-porosity qualities than the traditional ones.
What to look out for when buying
There are many other standards to follow, but that would be cumbersome for most business. Thus, you only need to look at a few standards. A good example is the Barex trademarked certification. Going with manufacturers who offer their plastic with this accreditation guarantees you the safety you need to apply your plastic materials and equipment confidently to different uses.
Always make decisions based on their impact on the business and end users. You want to focus more on safety and functionality because these two factors affect the quality of products and services you offer to your customers. That being said, follow these characteristics and considerations for healthcare plastics whenever you are shopping to replenish your suppliers.