Understanding How Low-Friction Medical Device Coatings Are Created

In the healthcare industry, low-friction medical device coatings are high performance coatings made from dry lubricant materials. By combining different engineering plastics, they achieve a remarkable synergy. More than any known solid, and with the lowest coefficient of friction, fluoropolymers are used. To provide highly versatile, unique properties, they are combined with organic, high-temperature polymers.

Truth be told, over a wide variety of applications, low-friction coatings are used. In addition to medical devices, they are used in aircraft and in the food and beverage industry. Particularly in the manufacturing industry, low friction coatings are used on fasteners.

Low-Friction Coatings

Even at temperature extremes, successful operation can be accomplished with these resilient lubricating coatings. These extremes would char components to ash, at the high end. They would render fluid lubricants considered ordinary to a viscosity that is too high, at the low end.

However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to high-performance coatings. One reason being that, to maximize required performance characteristics in any given circumstance, ingredient balances may be altered.

The Creation of Low-Friction Coatings

Closely monitored at every step, medical grade coatings are manufactured in the following manner:

  • For future reference (if needed), certifications, manufacturing dates, supplier lot numbers, and samples are accumulated and filed. This is where lot number tracking starts.
  • Materials are released to production after approval by the incoming QC process. According to formula, they are weighed, and production begins.
  • Next, materials (according to the work order from the plant) are sequentially added and the manufacturing process starts. Additional requirements/specifications in manufacturing can include mixing blade size, time, motor speeds, specific equipment, and any other work order requirements.
  • Depending upon the precise products, during the process, the specification of QC checks may be included. Manufacturing continues once these are passed.
  • For a final check, the sample then goes to the QC lab when the process has been completed. Against product specifications, physical characteristics are measured at this point. This can include measuring viscosity, density, and weight solids. Inspection for color (for pigmented products) or clarity (for clear coatings) is done here as well.
  • On the substrate for which they were intended, the coatings are checked for adhesion and color after being sprayed and cured. Substrates can include stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, or an exclusive material.
  • On the plant’s work order, all data is recorded. For archival security, it is backed up electronically. Specialized equipment is used to identify any problems that may arise.

Low-Friction Coatings in the Medical Field

We frequently think of nonfiction coatings, or nonstick coatings, as applying to kitchen utensils, pots, and pans. They’re also used in chemical processing, as well as the automotive and industrial industries. But the medical industry puts them to good use in any number of ways. From catheters to guide wires to surgical instruments, these coatings offer protection against matter gathering on an instrument.

Applied to a number of medical wires, a non-acid formulation is used for PTFE coating. For mandrels and a variety of medical devices, these wires are necessary and must remain sterile. Exposure to a variety of environments can threaten these devices, ergo the need for protection.

A&A Coatings For the Best Low-Friction Coatings

A&A Coatings supplies the healthcare industry with any number of protective coatings. We also provide coatings for virtually every industry known to mankind. With our vast selection of materials and application methods, we undoubtedly have the perfect coating solution for your business. You may be surprised, in fact, that other companies in your industry are already putting our coatings to good use in many aspects.

Contact us today for further information.

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