Silicone is a widely used material in an array of industries from aerospace to beauty to medical manufacturing. Known for its durability and antimicrobial tendencies, silicone offers the medical industry a versatile material for use in valves, surgical tools, patient implants and more.
Let’s take a closer look at this highly versatile and valuable synthetic polymer, and what makes it so valuable in medical manufacturing.
What Is Silicone?
Silicone is a polymer that is composed primarily of silica, which is naturally found in types of sand. To produce rubber silicone, the silicon must be extracted from the silica sand and put through a complex process. This process, though lengthy, can be done in great quantities to produce large amounts of silicone at once. Ultimately, it results in a widely usable rubber with a higher temperature tolerance than other naturally occurring rubbers.
Benefits Of Medical Silicone
Silicone is an ISO and FDA-approved material, meaning it meets strict quality standards to be considered a medical-grade material. Here are three benefits it brings to medical manufacturing.
As silicone is used in a variety of forms in medical manufacturing, it needs to conform to a variety of shapes to meet different needs. Silicone is a malleable material, making it easier to use in medical devices. It can be formed into varying shapes through transfer, injection and compression molding. The Liquid Silicone Injection Molding process is often used for producing medical devices as it offers limitless opportunities for design with high reliability and low cost.
2. Sterile & Sustainable
Rubber silicone can easily be sterilized — an essential quality for healthcare products. It can sustain quick and vast changes in temperature, making it helpful in medical use. It also offers antimicrobial properties and is resistant to bacteria, mold, oxidation and other negative conditions. As a non-toxic material, medical professionals can safely use silicone in their medical devices, tools and medical wire or cabling.
The strength of medical-grade silicone is one of its primary assets. As an extremely durable material, silicone is resistant to tearing and is highly elastic. It also has a high lifespan within medical devices due to its durability and reliability. This allows silicone to be used in short- and long-term implants.
What Is Medical Silicone O-Ring?
Medical silicone o-rings are designed for use in medical equipment and patient medical devices. They are a safe option for medical use and come in all sizes so they can fit even the smallest medical devices. There are also non-medical silicone o-rings for non-medical use.
What Are Silicone O-Rings Used For?
O-rings are used in a variety of medical and non-medical products. Electronics, pressure-cleaners and cables are all examples of non-medical uses of o-rings. Some common uses for medical-grade silicone o-rings include:
- Respiratory equipment
- Drug delivery devices
- Gas and liquid pumps
- Fluid transfer devices
- Fittings and tubing
As medical science advances and devices evolve, silicone will have an important role to play as a medical sealant. It is important that o-rings are produced by a manufacturer dedicated to producing at medical-quality for the best patient outcomes.
Consider Silicone For Your Devices
Silicone’s properties make it a great option for medical devices. Its wide variety of beneficial properties and the mass availability of the resource support an efficient and cost-effective solution for medical manufacturing.