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Medical Industry

Medical Plasma Bonding

Plasma technology is often used during the bonding process of two dissimilar materials. Because two materials may have different needs in a bonding agent or glue, a pristine and perfectly clean surface is sometimes mandatory to achieve enough bond strength for the application desired.

This is evident in the medical field as much or more than any other. Products such as catheters and pacemakers require a level of cleanliness only obtainable with plasma or harsh chemical cleaning. Any products designed for use inside the human body cannot be treated with many chemicals. This leaves plasma as the preferred way to clean, modify, and bond materials together.

Bonding plastic to metal is especially challenging because of the differences in the two surfaces. Two dissimilar surfaces often react differently to glues or bonding agents. Glues that work well for an elastic rubber may not work well for aluminum. To bond these two materials together, a clean and bondable surface created by plasma can increase the bond strength significantly.

Depending on the type of plasma used, the plasma not only cleans the surfaces but can also modify the surfaces of plastic and rubber. This is called plasma surface modification. Essentially, the pores of the rubber or plastic are “opened up” and the bonding agent adheres to the material with added strength. This is especially useful on products such as glossy plastics that need to be printed on or glued to a different material.

Plasma Etch, Inc. has a history of working hand-in-hand with the medical industry and is committed to providing unparalleled plasma bonding and treatment solutions for every possible application. Some of these applications include:

Plasma Cleaning for Various IndustriesCleaning
Removes contaminants and residue from material surfaces
Plasma Bonding for Various IndustriesPlasma Bonding
Facilitates the direct bonding of materials
Plasma Adhesion for Various IndustriesAdhesion
Prepares surfaces for coating, painting, etc.
Plasma Polymerization for Various IndustriesPolymerization
Enables polymerization via gaseous monomers
Plasma Activation for Various IndustriesActivation
Alters surface properties to create functional regions

Applications for the Medical Industry

Our plasma systems are currently being used in the following areas for purposes such as cleaning, etching, bonding, surface activation, and increasing manufacturability:

  • Cardiac Rhythm Devices
  • Catheters, Stents
  • Contact Lenses
  • Electronics
  • Filters
  • Microfluidics Wettability
  • Tack Reduction

Medical Case Studies

Medical Catheter Case Study
Client: Leading Medical Catheter Production Company
Parts: Catheters - Polyethylene/Terephthalate
Contaminates: Hydrocarbons (molding residues)
Equipment Used: Plasma Etch System Model BT-1

The parts processed were catheters constructed of polyethylene shafts with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) balloons. The client, a leading medical catheter producer, requested plasma treatment on both the catheter and the tubing to dramatically increase the bonding of these parts together. Plasma treatment with a Plasma Etch BT-1 using an argon/oxygen plasma increased bond strength by over 50%.

Additionally, the pre-treatment allowed the client more options to integrate different materials in their catheters. This has led to increased production and enhanced reliability that is so crucial in the medical industry.

This client chose Plasma Etch, Inc. due to the uniform etch and increased bonding capability that was received on their test sample.
Surgical Instruments Case Study