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Silicone Rubber Uses in Medical Equipment

February 7th, 2013

Silicone rubber products have become extremely popular in the medical industry. One of the many reasons for its popularity is its ability to perform under demanding and extreme conditions. Silicone rubber components have an extended lifespan against deterioration over other elastomers. Makers of high tech medical equipment have chosen silicone rubber products for their devices in lieu of other lower quality materials. Because of the critical importance of these devices to work without fail, silicone rubber is the ideal option.

Of the reasons to choose silicone rubber in the medical industry, none are likely more important than silicone’s resistance to bacteria and virus. Silicone properties inhibit bacteria and virus growth because of its silicone backbone instead of a carbon-based backbone. In addition, silicone is non-reactive and resistant to hydrocarbons, oils and solvents, making sterilization easily achievable. Medical silicone rubber molding is an excellent non-conductive insulating material, which aids in protecting sensitive and critical electrical equipment and components from failure. Some examples may include defibrillators, computed topography (CT) machines and dialysis machines.

Medical silicone rubber molding is superior to other elastomers because of its excellent compression set. Even high and low temperatures don’t affect its resistance to deformation. This plays into its inherent flexibility to fit many complex and abnormal shapes seamlessly. Silicone rubber is odorless and doesn’t contain acid-producing materials that generate outgassing. Water resistance is another key ability of silicone rubber. Even long-term exposure to water has no effect on the properties of silicone rubber products.

Silicone rubber is an excellent material for sealing devices. Seals can be made in an array of shapes and sizes. The process of molding silicone rubber can achieve extremely tight tolerances for exact fit and tight sealing. This is very useful in oxygen and other gas-related machines where an extremely tight seal is imperative. Silicone rubber has a tremendous resistance to extreme temperatures, both high and low. It is also inherently fire retardant and in extreme heat (in excess of 600 degrees F), silicone does not produce harmful gases when burned.

Liquid silicone injection molding is an excellent option when tight tolerances are required. With the latest technology, it is an extremely accurate production method with high quality and repeatable results for the life of your product.

For all your custom silicone molding needs, you can trust the expertise in design interpretation and implementation SiTECH can offer. Visit our SiTECH application guide for more information.

 

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