Plastic Manifolds in The Medical Industry

Bonded polycarbonate manifold used in medical applications

Multilayer plastic manifolds have become the perfect answer for medical devices in the search for smaller, more portable, and lower-maintenance devices. As a result, manufacturers use them in countless medical applications--including blood analyzers, women’s health instruments, plastic surgery tools, and dental drills--to keep patients and medical professionals safe and healthy.

Plastic's role in medical research has enabled many medical breakthroughs, and the materials have been invaluable in fighting the pandemic. At Controlled Fluidics, we understand the complex requirements and precise engineering needs of all medical projects, and we have the decades of experience necessary to make your project a success -- from start to finish.

Choosing the Right Materials for Every Medical Project

When choosing a plastic, manufacturers should consider medical applications, product durability, and biocompatibility. A medical-grade plastic must also meet regulatory requirements throughout the globe. The finished product must be temperature, impact, and corrosion-resistant to withstand high wear and repeated sterilization cycles. Controlled Fluidics works with a wide range of medical device manufacturers and offers the highest quality medical plastics

Polymers for equipment such as medical tubing and machines are often made of thermoplastic materials to ensure that the plastic material is safe and effective. Below are common thermoplastic materials used in the manufacturing of medical products.

Acrylic has long been used to manufacture medical devices and implants such as bone cement, cranial implants, and devices that require strength, chemical resistance, transparency, and biocompatibility. Transparency is particularly important for medical devices or diagnostic equipment that rely on visual inspection.

Acrylic is commonly used for medical devices, drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, cardiovascular, neurological, and diagnostics.

Polycarbonate is an amorphous thermoplastic offering good electrical properties as well as toughness, excellent impact strength, moderate chemical resistance, good heat resistance, and a high level of transparency. Polycarbonate is very pliable and easily shaped at room temperature without cracking or breaking, making it very useful in prototyping applications. Polycarbonate is suitable for ETO gas and limited autoclaving sterilization. It tends to be mid-price range, making it an attractive choice for a number of medical applications.

Polycarbonate is commonly used for eyewear, protective gear, medical devices, drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics.

PEEK is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic that provides excellent chemical compatibility, low susceptibility to stress cracking, biocompatibility, high dimensional stability, good electrical insulation, and easy machining. PEEK polymer can operate at temperatures up to 480°F and has a melting point around 646°F. PEEK can be sterilized by steam autoclave, ETO gas, or gamma radiation. PEEK offers parts that are lighter, stronger, and last longer in harsh environments.

PEEK is commonly used for spine and cranial applications, sports medicine, orthopedics, drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and cardiovascular and neurological applications.

Polypropylene is a cost-effective thermoplastic that provides excellent chemical resistance, high purity, low water absorption, and good electrical insulating properties. Medical-grade polypropylene offers excellent dimensional stability and machinability—and it can be sterilized with steam autoclaving. It is an attractive option because of its recyclability and its durability, allowing frequent reuse.

Polypropylene is commonly used for sports medicine, orthopedics, diagnostics, drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, spine, cardiovascular and neurological applications.

Radel is an amorphous material with a high glass transition temperature and low moisture absorption. Medical-grade Radel stock shapes offer excellent hydrolytic stability, toughness, and impact strength over a wide temperature range. It also has a high deflection temperature and excellent resistance to environmental stress cracking. It can be sterilized with ETO gas, radiation, dry heat, cold, and steam autoclaving.

Radel is commonly used for spine, cardiovascular and neurological applications, diagnostics, sports medicine, orthopedics, drug delivery, and pharmaceuticals.

Teflon is a semi-crystalline fluoropolymer with excellent thermal stability and chemical resistance, as well as a high melting point, up to 500°F.  To improve its mechanical properties, Teflon can be reinforced with additives such as glass fiber, carbon, or bronze. Teflon is self-lubricating with a low friction coefficient, excellent electrical resistance, and a nonstick surface.

Teflon is commonly used for medical devices, drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and cardiovascular and neurological applications.

Polysulfone is a medical-grade plastic with high mechanical strength and rigidity. It offers high dimensional stability, excellent resistance to hydrolysis, and good chemical compatibility. It has high continuous use temperature and good creep strength over a wide range of temperatures.

Polysulfone is commonly used for spine and cardiovascular applications, sports medicine, orthopedics, drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, and neurological and diagnostic applications.

Polyphenylene Sulfide, or PPS, is a medical-grade, semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymer. It is very chemically resistant with amazing mechanical strength, even at temperatures above 392°F. It is very stable dimensionally with low susceptibility to creep, offering low water absorption and excellent electrical properties.

PPS is commonly used for medical devices, drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, cardiovascular and neurological applications, and diagnostics.

Ultem is an amorphous thermoplastic with high mechanical strength and rigidity. It offers exceptional mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. With glass fiber reinforcement, it provides greater tensile strength and rigidity while improving dimensional stability. Ultem medical-grade plastic has a high creep resistance over wide temperatures and a high permanent operating temperature. It can withstand sterilization by ETO gas, radiation, steam autoclaving, dry heat, and cold.

Ultem is commonly used for spines, sports medicine, orthopedics, drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, cardiovascular and neurological applications, and diagnostics. 

Noryl is a strong plastic with outstanding mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties. It is often used for electrical housings and structural components due to its excellent insulating properties, flame resistance, and dimensional stability over a wide range of temperatures. It is often selected for fluid handling since it provides low moisture absorption and excellent strength and stiffness. It is easily machined, fabricated, painted, and glued.

Noryl is commonly used for spines, sports medicine, orthopedics, drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and cardiovascular and neurological applications.

We offer a complete selection of additional medical-grade materials for use in a wide variety of projects. These materials--many of which are FDA approved, USDA certified, or USP Class VI materials--offer solutions for even the most delicate and complex medical devices. These additional materials include:

Wondering what type of plastic you need for your medical equipment project? Contact Controlled Fluidics to discuss it.