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About Important Thermoplastics Used in the Healthcare Industry


While polymers have been used in the healthcare industry for decades, more recently industry leaders are embracing the benefits of using specialty compounds and thermoplastics in medical, biomedical, and pharmaceutical applications. Beyond single-use plastics, higher performance polymers, medical-grade plastics, and thermoplastics present long-term value to patients and to healthcare as a whole.


Following are the six most readily used materials.


Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW-PE) is a medical-grade plastic with high-impact strength, good wear and abrasion resistance, excellent chemical resistance, and outstanding low temperature properties.


Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK) is a unique engineering thermoplastic that also offers excellent chemical compatibility, low susceptibility to stress cracking, clinically proven biocompatibility, high dimensional stability, and good electrical insulation.


Acrylic, the common name for polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), is a medical-grade thermoplastic used in the manufacture of medical devices and medical implants such as intraocular lens implants, bone cement, and cranial implants.


Acetal Copolymer (Polyoxymethylene) is a medical-grade thermoplastic with high mechanical strength, rigidity, and dimensional stability. It delivers good sliding characteristics and excellent wear resistance, as well as low moisture absorption.


Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic manufactured by the catalytic polymerization of propene. PPs are universal standard medical-grade plastics with well-balanced properties providing excellent chemical resistance, high purity, low water absorption, and good electrical insulating properties.


Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) is a high-temperature thermoplastic polymer that is very chemically resistant with amazing mechanical strength, even at temperatures above 200C (392F), with low susceptibility to creep.


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