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Polycarbonates See Healthy Growth in Medical Applications

SpecialChem / May 17, 2006

Polycarbonates are among the fastest growing plastic resins in the medical device and packaging field, largely due to a favorable combination of cost and performance factors. Typical properties of polycarbonates that give them an advantage in the healthcare industry include great strength, toughness, rigidity, and resistance to rigorous sterilization conditions. The high clarity of polycarbonates is also a plus in many medical applications. Polycarbonates are not the most widely used plastics in medical products. That distinction belongs to polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene. But engineering resins such as polycarbonates offer levels of heat and radiation resistance that PVC and other commonly used medical plastics cannot match. The strength and chemical inertness of polycarbonates make them useful for tools used in minimally invasive surgery, a field that is expanding rapidly. Polycarbonates also cost less than other high-performance engineering plastics used in medicine, such as polysulfones and polyetheretherketones.

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