Minneapolis, MN – Endoscopic surgical instrument insertion and retraction through a seal must feel smooth and easy. The more the material “grabs” and adheres to the shaft of the instrument, the more force it will take to manipulate the instrument.
F-Treated Quad Ring® seal from Minnesota Rubber and Plastics has permanent low coefficient of the friction surface for improved medical device function.
To reduce friction, Minnesota Rubber and Plastics developed the unique F-treat process providing a permanent low coefficient of friction surface that will not dissipate with wear. Unlike topical modifications that can be washed or worn away, F-treat is a modification of the entire compound so that if abrasion or wear occurs, a modified low friction surface will always be present.
Medical devices such as endoscopes successfully use the F-treated seals providing surgeons with more sensitivity and “feel” for their instruments than non-treated elastomer seals. Likewise, medical product designers improve nasal and liposuction canula with custom designed, F-treated seals and devices from Minnesota Rubber and Plastics.
Until F-treated FKM elastomers were developed, the only option has been topical modification of the coating with products such as molybdenum disulfide, graphite, silicone oil or PTFE powder. The drawback to these topical modifications is that often the coatings are not medically acceptable, they can be washed away from the surface, and unlike F-treat, they do not lend themselves to repeated autoclaving. In today’s cost competitive medical environment, reusable instruments require seals that can endure hundreds of autoclaving cycles without the loss of reduced friction properties.
Laboratory studies of a broad range of elastomer materials prove the dramatic reduction of coefficient of friction of F-treated molded components. (Click to See Live Demo). Since the modification occurs as a reaction with the polymer, the most dramatic improvement is seen with low hardness, polymer-rich elastomers such as a 55 Shore A compound.
Minnesota Rubber and Plastics
Filed Under: Medical, Materials • advanced