The Importance of PTFE Coating in the Medical Field

Posted: 3/15/2016

When it comes to non-stick coating, we often think of pots, pans, and various kitchen utensils. However, coating services are not limited to the food processing industry but are rather an integral part of a variety of industries which we rely on heavily. These include the medical, industrial, automotive, and chemical processing trades, all of which depend on a variation of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) coatings to ensure the optimum function of certain processes. 

The medical industry relies on non-stick coating in more ways than one – from surgical instruments to guidewires and catheters. The non-stick coating ensures that the surface of the instrument does not gather any matter during a procedure. A PTFE coating with a non-acid formulation is also applied to a number of medical wires. These wires are necessary for a variation of medical devices and mandrels that are required to remain sterile, and which need to be protected from a number of elements, including the exposure to a variety of environments. 

Aside from the fact that non-stick coating assists us when attempting to cook the perfect fried egg, it is also an integral role-player in a number of important procedures in the medical field. 

PTFE Medical Coating for Medical Devices 

Types of Medical Coatings

Because there are many different types of medical devices, there are various different types of medical coatings used in the industry. Each one provides a different usage and benefit than another, ultimately making them better for some materials than others. Adding a non-stick coating on medical devices can help any procedure run smoother.

Lubricious Coating

Lubricants, otherwise known as lubricious coatings, are used when friction is likely to occur between a medical device and a biological opening. The job of this coating is to reduce the amount of friction, either static or kinetic, during the insertion process. An example of this can be seen with a catheter – without a lubricious coating, the experience would likely be painful and unpleasant for the patient. It’s important to note that since this coating is making direct contact with the internal body of a patient, it must be FDA standards.

Hydrophilic Surface Coatings

Hydrophilic, which means water loving, is a type of medical device coating which ensures their proper function. Some devices require an increased wetness when exposed to moisture in order to perform properly. For example, a microscopic sponge utilizes this coating to remain low-friction while absorbing liquid. It’s been measured that these coatings can allow a low friction force of 3 grams. Not only does this provide the patient with comfort, but it allows medical professionals to work smoothly.

Antimicrobial Coatings

When handling bodily excrements, it’s important to use an antimicrobial coating. This prevents any potential of transfer of biohazardous material to any other surface. These coatings are capable of killing up to 100 percent of bacteria and fungi. Some examples of issues that could be prevented when using an antimicrobial coating include but are not limited to the spread of E. coli and staphylococcus.

Surgical Equipment

Surgical equipment is treated with a coating of both non-stick and antimicrobial properties that ensure the lowest amount of friction between two objects. Not only is the surgical equipment sterile, but it also ensures that it does not stick to a variety of surfaces both before and during surgical environments. PTFE coating is also applied to the sterile packaging of equipment and medication to ensure that the surfaces do not stick together during any of the transportation, heating, and administration processes. 

Medical Devices and Machinery

Analytical devices and monitoring machinery contain a variety of wires and operational components that contain a PTFE coating. This coating ensures a minimal amount of friction between the components, while also keeping microorganisms from growing on the various surfaces.

Without the PTFE coating, biomedical equipment and medical machinery would be vulnerable to the growth of harmful microorganisms, painful and debilitating friction, transplant rejection, and malfunction. Call us at (773) 282-9100 for reliable coating services, and to ensure that your medical equipment meets international standards.

What is Medical Grade Silicone Made Of?

Medical Grade Silicone can mean multiple things across various industries. Depending on what you need to use the product for, it can be applied in different scenarios. The first subgroup is considered Medical Long-Term Implantable Silicone and can be used inside the body. The second form is known as Medical-Healthcare Grade, which is used for short-term use, typically not imbedded or implanted into the body. Anything that is in contact with the body likely has an antimicrobial coating, as well as a hydrophobic surface to prevent water or liquid for soaking into the silicone.

In terms of their compositions, there are four common types of material they’re made of. These are:

  1. LSR, or liquid silicone rubber. This is the most typical material used in medical silicone purposes. This is because of its easy injection molding.
  2. High consistency rubber, or HCR, is a thicker, more pliable type of material that is used with compression molding.
  3. FSR, or fluorosilicone rubber, typically used in auto machinery. This form is heat and fire resistant, as well as brake fluid resistant. Keep in mind that all products, including coatings, have a melting point at which they start to break down.
  4. Room temperature vulcanize silicone, with the acronym of RTV, is used when something needs to harden quickly at room temperature. These are typically what are used in caulking.

Why Choose Surface Solutions Group for Silicone Coatings

Surface Solutions Group is perfect for silicone coatings because we have plenty of different coatings available for whatever purpose you may need. Our enhanced formulas reduce the amount of friction you can expect. This allows the materials to smoothly slide on whatever surface you’re using, as well as the ability to have a perfect fit each and every time.

Choosing Surface Solutions Group for any of your silicone coating needs will ensure your products and goods will be strong, protected, and useable for years to come. Contact a Surface Solutions Group representative today to learn more about medical grade silicone.