9 Applications of Plastic Injection Molding for Medical Devices in 2024

  • Updated: June 05, 2024

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Frank Lee

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Dive into the world where accuracy meets innovation—the use of plastic injection molding in medicine is nothing short of revolutionary. This technology is what makes a huge number of medical devices possible, from simple tools like syringes to complex parts of machines that save lives. As we look at the uses of plastic injection molding, we’ll see how it makes things last longer, work better, and be safer, all while lowering costs and improving patient care. When you see how science and engineering work together to build the future of healthcare, you will be amazed.

1. Plastic Injection Molding of Disposable Medical Devices

syringes In healthcare situations, disposable medical devices are very important for keeping things safe and clean. Plastic injection molding has changed the way these devices are made, making it possible to make a wide range of one-time use items, such as syringes, medical gloves, and intravenous (IV) tubes.

People prefer this way of making things because it can make parts that are very precise and consistent, which is important for meeting the strict sterilization standards needed in the medical industry. A global business that sells medical supplies said that they could make more than 50 million syringes every month with plastic injection molding.

Because they are made of medical-grade plastic, these needles are clean and can only be used once. With a 99.9% success rate, the syringes made this way passed quality control checks. This shows how reliable injection molding is for making medical treatment devices that meet the standards needed for patient safety and care. We can see how important plastic injection molding is for making a lot of cost-effective, safe, and clean disposable medical gadgets.

2. Plastic Injection Molding in Complex Medical Device Components

Housing for AED Injection molding is a very useful industrial technique for making complicated parts for medical devices.  For its accuracy and repeatability, this process is famous for making parts with complex shapes and tight tolerances that are necessary for medical equipment to work properly and safely.

The safety of these parts is very important because they often come into close contact with patients or are needed for life-saving machines to work.  A major company that makes medical equipment uses injection casting to make the AED’s case and very complicated internal parts that make sure the shock delivery system works perfectly every time.

The manufacturer’s data shows that AEDs with injection-molded parts have a 94% success rate for the first shock. This number is greatly affected by how precisely the parts are made.  This high level of performance shows that injection molding can make parts that not only meet but also go beyond the strict requirements of the medical business.

3. Plastic Injection Molding for Needle-free Injection Systems

Needle-free injection systems for insulin delivery Needless-free injection methods are a big step forward in medical technology because they make getting blood and drugs into the body safer and less invasive. Most of the time, polycarbonate (PC) is used to make these devices because it is strong and clear.

The use of PC material makes it possible to make precisely designed parts that are needed for needle-free injection systems to work correctly. We can see that a well-known medical technology business is working on a needle-free system for giving insulin.

PC material is used in this system to make sure the device is long-lasting and clear, which is important for patients to be able to see the medicine being given. Based on data from clinical trials, the needle-free insulin delivery method showed 85% fewer injection site reactions than regular needle injections.

Also, surveys of patient satisfaction showed that 92% of people preferred the needle-free method because it was easier to use and less painful. These numbers show that needle-free injection systems are very useful in current healthcare and put the patient first.

4. Plastic Injection Molding of Blood Centrifuge Bowls and Pistons

Blood Centrifuge Bowls The accuracy and speed with which blood is processed in medical labs depend on how well the blood centrifuge bowls and pistons are engineered. Specifications must be followed to the letter when making these parts so that the separation of blood components like plasma and red blood cells works well.

Injection molding is often used in this situation because it can make things that are very accurate in size and can be used over and over again. A manufacturing company that makes medical equipment can be seen making parts for blood centrifuges.

The company said that the centrifuge bowls and pistons had a tolerance of ±0.01mm thanks to injection casting.   The performance tests showed that these parts separated 98% of the time, which is 5% better than past designs.

Precision engineering is very important when making medical equipment because it allows for better control over the sizes and shapes of the parts, which cuts down on processing time and improves the quality of blood separation overall.

5. Plastic Injection Molding for Reagent Tube Manufacturing

Plastic Reagent Tube In the lab, reagent tubes are essential for keeping chemical materials safe and moving them around. It is very important that these tubes are clean and precise so that the chemicals stay intact and test results are correct.

When it comes to making reagent tubes, plastic injection molding is the best method because it can make containers with consistent and exact sizes and a high level of chemical resistance. A big biotechnology business uses plastic injection molding to make tubes with tight tolerances and walls that are all the same thickness. These tubes are important for distributing reagents evenly and keeping samples safe.

The injection-molded reagent tubes have a leak rate of less than 0.1%, according to the company’s data. This makes the risk of cross-contamination much lower. The tubes are also good for a lot of different chemicals and last a long time at different temperatures, which is why labs all over the world choose them.

6. The Gas-Assisted Plastic Injection Molding Process

plastic medical device housings The Gas-Assisted Injection Molding Process is a new way to make things that makes plastic parts much better in terms of quality and performance. Parts with complex shapes, higher strength, and thinner walls can be made with this method by injecting compressed nitrogen gas into the mold cavity during the molding process.

By following the flow of the plastic material, the gas helps with the shaping process. This makes the material more evenly distributed and lowers the stress inside the part. The Gas-Assisted Injection Molding Process helped a medical equipment maker make housings that were 20% lighter and 15% stronger than those made with traditional molding methods, the company said. Cycle times were cut by 30% when gas assistance was used, which made output more efficient.

Also, the better distribution of materials cut down on warpage by 50%, which is a typical problem with plastic components. This case shows how the Gas-Assisted Injection Molding Process has changed the quality of medical products and the efficiency of manufacturing.

7. Plastic Injection Molding: The Thin-Wall Technique

Super thin medical catheters Thin-wall molding is a type of injection molding that is especially good at making parts for medical devices with very thin walls.  For parts like catheters and infusion systems, which need to be minimally invasive for patient comfort and ease of use, this method is important.

The process makes it possible to make parts that are light but still strong enough to move through the body’s delicate and complicated paths.  A company that makes medical parts said that they were able to make tubes with walls that were less than 0.5 mm thick by using thin-wall molding.

During clinical testing, these ultra-thin-walled catheters were able to guide and keep a path through small blood vessels 95% of the time.  The thin-wall design also lowered the chance of damaging the vessel, which meant there were fewer problems after the treatment.  The manufacturer’s data showed that the procedure took 40% less time than when normal catheters were used. This shows how thin-wall molding can improve the safety and efficiency of medical device parts.

8. Plastic Injection Molding with Multi-Material Capabilities

Blood Pressure Cuff Insert Multi-material molding is a new way to make things that lets two or more different materials be injected into the same mold at the same time. This makes it possible to make parts with different qualities that are all one piece.   In the medical field, this technology is especially useful because the combination of materials can make devices more useful and better at what they do.

This technology was used by a company that makes medical devices to make bands with a soft, skin-friendly material on the inside to keep patients comfortable and a tougher, easier-to-clean material on the outside.   According to data from the manufacturer, these multi-material cuffs have 30% less material waste than standard single-material cuffs. This is because they make a whole part in one step, which is more efficient.

User feedback also showed that 90% of people were happy with how comfortable the cuffs were, which made the whole experience of tracking blood pressure better for patients. This example shows how multi-material molding can be used to make fabrication more efficient and improve the quality and performance of medical products.

9. Plastic Injection Molding for Durable and Reliable Medical Devices

X-ray diagnostic equipment The technology of injection molding is a key part of making medical devices that last and work well, and have been approved by regulatory groups like the FDA. This way of making things makes sure that the devices are safe and of the best quality, which is very important for patients’ health.

The technology lets strong parts be made that can stand up to rough use while still performing well and keeping their safety features. Making cases for diagnostic devices that are cleared by the FDA is one use of this technology.

A company that makes medical equipment said that their injection-molded cases for testing equipment passed durability tests that were set up to look like they were used nonstop for five years. These cases are made to keep sensitive medical electronics safe from drops, water, and other things in the environment.

The high pass rate shows how reliable the injection molding process is for making medical devices that last a long time and protect the sensitive parts inside, which makes sure that medical findings are correct and reliable.

Finally, plastic injection molding is a versatile technology in the medical device industry that fabricates precise and reliable medical equipment. From disposable syringes to intricate diagnostic equipment, this technology ensures that medical devices meet stringent safety and performance standards. Modern healthcare devices can be crafted creatively, durably, and efficiently using advanced techniques such as gas-assisted injection molding and multi-material molding. The ability of this technology to manufacture FDA-approved, durable medical devices underscores its critical value in enhancing patient safety and driving medical advancements.

FAQs

1. Can injection molding be used for implantable medical devices?
Yes, certain implantable medical devices can be made using injection molding, provided the raw materials used meet biocompatibility and regulatory standards.

2. What is insert molding and how is it applied in the medical industry?
Insert molding is a process where a pre-formed component is placed into a mold before the thermoplastic material is injected around it, commonly used for medical devices requiring electronic components or metal parts.

3. How does the manufacturing process of injection molding differ for medical devices compared to other industries?
Medical device injection molding requires stricter quality control, adherence to regulatory standards, and often the use of specialized materials to ensure biocompatibility and sterility.

4. Can you explain the concept of overmolding in the context of medical device production?
Overmolding involves injecting a second material over an existing part to create a multi-layered or multi-material device, useful for combining rigid and flexible components in medical devices.

5. What are the benefits of using liquid silicone in injection molding for medical devices?
Liquid silicone offers excellent biocompatibility, flexibility, and resistance to heat and chemicals, making it ideal for sensitive medical applications such as seals and medical-grade tubing.

References

1. Possible Medical . (2023, November 6). Injection Molding Processing and Manufacturing of Medical Device Parts. https://www.ablemedicaldevice.com.cn/yiliaoshebeilingjiandezhusujiagognyuzhizao/

2. Mold injection molding technology in the medical field. (n.d.). http://www.gbm-mould.com/news/20200514164271793.html

3. One of the best applications for plastics: medical industry-Injection Molding-Technology-Guangzhou Jiangwaijiang Information Technology Co. (n.d.). http://www.ip1689.com/jishu/show.php?itemid=858

4. Injection Molding in the Medical Industry. (n.d.). http://www.gbm-mould.com/news/20191115168491413.html

Disclaimer

The articles on XMAKE’s platform are intended for informational purposes, reflecting our expertise in digital manufacturing. While we diligently ensure the accuracy of specialized data, some information may evolve. We respectfully advise readers to verify details for their specific applications. XMAKE assumes no responsibility for the use of this content. Your understanding and compliance are appreciated.

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