In the medical industry, there’s more to equipment than scientific technology. There are many components that hold devices together or enhance their usability. Many of these parts can be made using silicone rubber and liquid silicone injection molding. Without gaskets, seals, cases and medical rubber keypads, a wide range of medical devices wouldn’t be durable, operable or marketable. The most popular applications include molding and keypads for patient care, surgery and disposable equipment.
Parts that can be made from silicone rubber include the exterior seals around portable defibrillator kits, as well as case handle grips and non-skid feet. On the kit’s interior, the defibrillator is operated by a rubber keypad. Whether you’re turning it on and off, or you need to adjust the charge to the paddles, silicone rubber keypads can help save lives.
The electrocardiogram is a piece of medical equipment that tests the heart’s activity using 10 to 12 leads. The EKG, or ECG, machine contains many parts that are coated or protected by silicone rubber, including the leads. One of the most prominent features in the use of silicone rubber is over the lead wires. They’re a popular option because of their heat resistance, insulative and non-conductive properties. Rubber molded coatings and sleeves can be made to precisely fit any size lead wire while flexing and moving with the wiring to ensure proper positioning and tension.
The delivery of medicine, fluids and nutrients to patients is often critical to their well-being. Silicone rubber molded components provide seals and tubing that both contain the liquid within the dedicated part of the device and direct it to the proper place. Designs with medical rubber keypads enable precise infusion settings that provide delivery in keeping with the doctor’s orders. Printed circuit boards and membrane circuitry connect to the keypads to allow adjustments as needed.
Whether they’re used in a doctor’s office or at home by a patient, glucose meters measure and track blood sugar. For those with diabetes or diabetic symptoms, it helps doctors dial in the right level of medication used to properly control the patient’s blood sugar. Parts made from the liquid silicone injection molding process are used for dispensing test strips, as grips for lancets and as protective skin to cover the product. Glucose meter manufacturers can also use silicone rubber keypads and molded inserts with display windows precisely cut out to make self-testing easier for patients.
Whether used as a primary connector or as a gasket in support of other parts, silicone rubber is an effective material for medical equipment use. Its size, shape, flexibility and other properties can be carefully designed to enhance a wide range of medical products. For more information on how to choose the right elements to get the look, feel and performance needed for your next medical device design, check out our SiTECH Application Guide.