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Plastic components for the bio-, pharma- and medical technology

Plastics are used as standard in many areas of bio-, pharmaceutical and medical technology. In general, the requirements are comparable with those of food technology. Plastics that are classified as food-compatible can therefore be used without problems in many applications in the bio-, pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors.

However, if the plastics can come into direct or indirect contact with the human organism, much higher requirements are formulated. The national and international legislators want to be sure that the materials do not pose any danger to the human organism.

In particular, plastics already classified as food-compatible offer good conditions for meeting the increased requirements in contact with the human organism. The relatively high purity as well as the good resistance to sterilisation and cleaning processes and the generally good mechanical properties are the main advantages of plastics in such applications. However, the low thermal conductivity is also considered an advantage, as plastics are perceived as more pleasant in skin contact than the "cold" metallic or ceramic materials.

Advantages of plastics in general

  • food compatibility
  • chemical and corrosion resistance
  • thermal conductivity

High-performance plastics offer further advantages due to their significantly higher temperature resistance, their partially greater strength and their higher purity. Polyaryletherketones in particular also show a strength behaviour that is comparable to that of human bones in certain areas. For this reason, PEEK in particular is frequently used for
the manufacture of mechanically stressed implants.

Special advantages of high-performance plastics

  • high specific strength
  • excellent resistance to hydrolysis and chemicals
  • high abrasion resistance

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