#materialscience

Research, development and commercial applications of advanced flexible materials.

Recent Articles

Polymer Basics for Polyvinyl Chloride


Abstract

Polyvinyl chloride is the most widely used plastic material in medical applications. It has a low cost, is easy to process, and can be tailored to yield the desired properties. Often times PVC by itself is not very useful, however heat stabilizers, plasticizers, and various polymers can be added so that the material gains a diverse range of properties from rigid to flexible. Polyvinyl chloride is used in different medical applications such as dialysis bags, surgical drapes, blister packaging, and oxygen face masks.
 
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Single-Use Medical Disposables Smarten Up

In Brief

As a result of the demand for sterilized materials, increased data, and high quality health care, the medical industry has an enormous demand for single use disposables. This focus on quality and health has had enormous implications. For example, the rate of central line infections has decreased by over 70% across the country over the last decade. A big reason for this decline is utilization of single use disposables that are less prone to contamination.  Now medical facilities are taking this one step further by incorporating highly sophisticated flexible materials into their applications. There are a few specific areas where these advances are particularly exciting.

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Polymer Basics for Polyurethane


Abstract

Polyurethanes are polymers made up of long chains, with the base monomer being composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. There are various types of polyurethanes, with each individual type yielding different properties. Polyurethanes may come in the form of rigid or flexible foams, adhesives, coatings, or as a thermoplastic polyurethane.  Overall, polyurethanes have excellent toughness, clarity, low-temperature flexibility, and are biocompatible. Polyurethanes are used in applications such as blood bags, pacemaker leads, body and limb prosthesis, and acetabular cups.
 
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Polymer Basics for Polystyrene


Abstract

Styrene is primarily used in the production of polystyrene plastics as well as many other specialty plastics and synthetic rubbers. Polystyrene is produced by free radical vinyl polymerization from the styrene monomer. Polystyrene has a low cost, low density, clarity, and dimensional stability. This material comes in two forms; crystal polystyrene and high impact polystyrene. Polystyrene is used in applications such as petri dishes, sterilization trays, and pipettes.
 
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Polymer Basics for Polyolefins


Abstract

Polyolefins are polymers composed of simple alkenes, with the most notable being ethylene and propylene. With both polyethylene and polypropylene different grades are available. Polyethylene has varying densities whereas polypropylene has varying locations of the methyl group. Polyethylene is used in applications such as packaging, filters, underpads for hospital beds, and heart valves. Polypropylene is used in applications such as syringes, drapes and gowns, packaging, and sutures.
 
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