Machine Design

Resins add a splash of color in the OR

Radel R polyphenylsulfones withstand thousands of decontamination and steam-sterilization cycles without losing their mechanical properties or good looks.

Radel R-5800 TR transparent resin is for lids and latches used on sterilization instrument cases and containers. The polyphenylsulfone is easily colored.

The high-performance resins from Solvay Advanced Polymers LLC, Alpharetta, Ga., can replace stainless steels and other metals used in orthopedic surgical cases and trays.

This lets orthopedic equipment manufacturers such as Paragon Medical, Pierceton, Ind., add distinctive opaque or transparent color schemes to surgical containers that will stay bright and clean looking for their service life.

In contrast, conventional metals can lose their luster, corrode, collect water spots, get dinged, and otherwise show their age over time.

According to Shawn Shorrock, global medical market manager for Solvay, a variety of stock colors are routinely used to differentiate the sizes of orthopedic hardware during implant surgery.

Solvay also compounds medical-grade resins in smaller batches. This way, OEMs with short production runs can get color schemes to match corporate logos or create something entirely new, says Shorrock.

General indication of chemical resistance
Reagent Radel R (polyphenylsulfone) Udel(polysulfone)
n-Butane Excellent Good
Iso-Octane Excellent Good
Benzene Fair Poor
Toluene Fair Poor
Ethanol Excellent Good
Methylethylkeytone Poor Poor
2-Ethoxyethanol Good Poor
1,1,1 Trichloroethane Good Poor
Carbon tetrachloride Excellent Poor
Hydrochloric acid (20%) Excellent Excellent
Acetic acid (20%) Excellent Excellent
Sulfuric acid (20%) Excellent Excellent
Sodium hydroxide (10%) Excellent Excellent

Test samples were submerged at room temperature in the reagents for seven days.

Excellent (little or no effect)
Good (No serious loss of properties)
Fair (Some negative effects, some useful properties retained)
Poor (Severe attack or rupture)

— Jean M. Hoffman

Paragon Medical, (800) 225-6975,
Solvay Advanced Polymers LLC, (800) 621-4557,

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