Plastics that resist chemical attack from hospital disinfectants

US firm RTP Company has developed a proprietary alloy technology designed to maintain strength, functionality, and integrity, under repeated exposure to hospital cleaners used to disinfect medical devices. Known as the RTP 2000 HC series, these thermoplastic compounds can help solve cracking issues in existing devices and open a new realm of possibilities for the design of hospital equipment and plastic housings that require frequent disinfection, such as mobile ultrasound and x-ray machines, enteral feeding devices, drug infusion pumps, blood filtration equipment, and more.

The RTP 2000 HC series provides a unique solution to a widespread problem: the damage and premature, catastrophic failure of plastic devices, equipment, and housings caused by harsh cleaners and disinfectants used in medical settings.

Medical facilities are acutely aware of the risks associated with hospital acquired infections, with as many as 2 million new cases and US$11 billion in additional costs per year in the US alone. To reduce these risks, medical facilities have increased the amount of harsh chemicals for sanitization purposes and the frequency of their use, only to discover that these cleaners cause cracks and degradation in plastic equipment and housings – and replacing them is costly.

In developing the RTP 2000 HC series, engineers from RTP tested numerous polymers for damage resistance to six popular chemical classes of hospital cleaners and disinfectants.

Moulded compounds were subjected to stressors in order to replicate field failures and relative resistance. The best performer was optimised for physical properties, chemical damage resistance, colourability and flammability.

The RTP 2000 HC series is available globally in flame retardant or non-flame retardant versions, and the compounds are colourable. It is also available in sheet format in thicknesses ranging from 0.508-0.635 mm through Engineered Sheet Products (ESP), a division of RTP.

OEMs and injection moulding companies that create parts, housings, and equipment for medical facilities can use the RTP 2000 HC series thermoplastic compounds as a direct replacement for other amorphous resins such as PC/ABS and PC/PBT. The series is said to have proven performance for chemical resistance under moulded in stress conditions, allowing OEMs and injection moulders to improve the quality and service life of their medical devices.

(IMA)

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