#materialscience

Research, development and commercial applications of advanced flexible materials.

Recent Articles

Technical Primer - Foams


Abstract

Commercial production of polymer foam began in Europe in 1954, then moved to the United States shortly thereafter. In 1957, polyether polyols became part of the industry standard, reducing the costs of creating flexible foam materials and making it more accessible for a variety of purposes. Over the next two decades, this versatile substance found its way into a wide range of applications.

 

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Functionalizing Foams Used in Medical Applications

In Brief

Many factors drive the advancements in wound care and the use of flexible materials in the medical field. Three major sectors are the aging population, increased incidences of type 2 diabetes, and emerging global economies. According to a new report published by Zion Market Research, global demand in the advanced wound care management product market is projected to grow at a rate of 6.4% through 2022. This will result in an estimated revenue of around $15.8 billion USD.

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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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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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