Polyurethanes for Medical Devices
Now more than ever, hospitals and medical facilities rely on the best medical devices to improve patient health and safety. Because of this, product designers often demand innovative materials that can meet exact performance and quality requirements, such as thermoset polyurethanes. This versatile material enables unlimited design flexibility through a cast or Reaction Injection Molding (RIM) process to produce custom products & components. Below, are a few examples of how thermoset polyurethanes were creatively used to design market-leading medical devices.
The Problem: A provider of mobile imaging systems turned to MPC to improve their recurring mechanical failures. The existing device featured a robust, retractable cord for safety measures and easier transport. While the medical technicians retracted the cord after each session, the cord would snap back at high force, therefore, damaging the machine.
The Solution: MPC proposed a solid, black 70A elastomeric polyurethane to optimize shock absorption and impact resistance. Based on the customer's design, MPC utilized 3D printed tooling to cast mold a handful of prototypes in the exact material and geometry. This enabled the customer to quickly validate their concept before ramping up to meet production demand and performance requirements.
The Result: The inclusion of this elastomeric polyurethane bumper increased machine uptime and saved the customer thousands on maintenance and repair costs. Moreover, the technicians can safely and quickly retract the cord without damaging any of the mechanical or electrical subcomponents.
The Problem: A product designer turned to MPC to produce an innovative design concept without breaking the bank. The customer saw a need for arthritic consumer tools, however, initial volumes did not justify the cost of injection molded tooling.
The Solution: MPC proposed a thermoset material using the RIM process as an alternative solution to thermoplastic injection molding. During the development stage, we formulated a 70D elastomeric material that fit the parts functionality and performance requirements.
The Result: MPC provided the customer with a manufacturing process that allowed them to meet small and large production runs while meeting their cost targets.
Physical Therapy Tool
The Problem: A provider of physical therapy equipment turned to MPC for improved quality and faster lead times. The existing part showcased recurring quality defects which made the tool prone to bacterial contamination. Because of this, long production times prevented the OEM from meeting their market demand.
The Solution: To eliminate the quality defects and minimize the risk of bacterial contamination, MPC recommended an integral skin foam. This type of foam featured a smooth, consistent surface finish that optimized abrasion and chemical resistance for easier cleaning.
The Result: MPC offered improved quality that allowed the customer to minimize bacterial contamination. Moreover, MPC supported the customer scaling up to meet their market demand driving their business growth.
The Problem: A multinational medical device OEM turned to MPC to develop enclosures to protect their system and enhance the product's aesthetics. Their new product line of high-end dialysis machines consisted of many delicate electronic parts, which also required electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding to assure optimal performance.
The Solution: Through our RIM process, MPC manufactured a lightweight, 70D structural foam housing with encapsulated inserts and screen-printed details. To meet performance requirements, MPC applied a specialized EMI-shielding paint to the inside of the enclosures.
The Result: MPC was able to offer a complete painted finish that meets the customer's aesthetic requirements, including EMI shielding. This enabled the OEM to successfully grow their dialysis business, especially during the COVID 19 pandemic, which has driven increase demand. By partnering with MPC, we were able to scale up for production during this healthcare crisis.
Thermoset polyurethanes can play a significant role in diverse medical applications from therapy aids, life support equipment, and surgical robotics to name a few. When determining a material, it is important to consider the product's key physical properties and aesthetic requirements for optimal performance. If you are seeking material assistance for your RIM product design, complete our design tool, here, or download our material data sheet below: