Material

  • Elastomers are very elastic, less permeable to gases and vapors than silicones, can be repeatedly autoclaved, and are biocompatible.
  • Fiberglass contains many extremely fine glass fibers in a plastic composite, and is commonly used for its strength, nonreactivity, and to insulate against sound, heat, and electricity.
  • Fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) has low friction, is easily formable, and non-reactive.
  • High density polyethylene (HDPE) is stronger, has more tensile strength, and can withstand slightly higher temperatures than polyethylene.
  • Latex withstands repeated sterilization, and has excellent elasticity and memory after repeated pulsating and stretching.
  • Low density polyethylene (LDPE) has excellent resistance to acids, alcohols, bases, and esters, and is flexible and tough.
  • Nylon is very strong and flexible, has excellent abrasion resistance, is lightweight, and resists crushing and cracking.
  • Pebax has high elastic memory, keeps its strength at low temperatures, has a good resistance to most chemicals, and is tough and durable. However, it is sensitive to UV degradation.
  • Perfluoroalkoxy (PFA) is chemically inert, has a very high impact strength, and can be used at a higher working temperature than most plastics.
  • Plastic refers to a wide variety of available materials, with a range of available chemical and physical properties. There are two types of plastics: thermoplastics and thermosetting polymers. Thermoplastics can be heated and molded many times, while thermosetting polymers melt and take shape only once. An example of a thermoplastic is polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. A thermosetting polymer such as a polyimide is generally stronger than a thermoplastic, and is more suitable to high-temperature applications.
  • Polycarbonate is easily worked, resists grease, oil, detergent, and most inorganic acids, and has a very high impact resistance at nearly 30 times that of safety glass.
  • Polyester shrinks at a very low temperature compared to other shrinkable plastics and forms an excellent mechanical barrier that can be used at both high and low temperatures. It is moisture and vapor resistant, and unaffected by oils, greases, and volatile aromatics.
  • Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) resists chemicals and water absorption. It is impact resistant and effective in high temperatures.
  • Polyethylene is lightweight, durable, and semi-flexible. It is a chemically inert material that resists cracking and forms a good barrier to gases, vapors, and moisture.
  • Polyimide resists commonly used solvents and oils such as hydrocarbons, alcohols, esters, and weak acids. It is lightweight and flexible, and resists heat.
  • Polyolefin is a shrinkable plastic, has less strength at low temperatures, excellent chemical resistance, and cannot be joined by solvent cementing.
  • Polypropylene resists most chemicals, has excellent dimensional stability, and is sterilizable.
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resists chemicals, moisture, and high temperatures. It is often used for electrical applications.
  • Polyurethane is nonconductive and has good abrasion, chemical, and UV radiation resistance.
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is corrosion resistant, lightweight, and high strength. It resists reactions with acids, gasoline, alcohol, and hydrocarbons.
  • Rubber is an elastic hydrocarbon polymer. It is generally extracted from the latex, or sap, of the rubber tree. Rubber is highly elastic, and resists abrasion and impact forces.
  • Silicone rubber is nonreactive, flexible, and resistant to high temperatures.