Issues in the challenging world of medical plastic injection molding are well known. Yet some injection molders still experience problems with mold design, materials selection, and processing parameters—and, therefore, so do their customers.
D&M Plastics has been serving a wide variety of demanding industries for 50 years—medical, dental, electronics, aerospace, automotive, defense, and others. We’re especially sensitive to the high standards required of medical products.
What is injection molding, what medical parts can it support, and why is it often preferred to other processes?
Injection molding is a manufacturing method for producing a large number of plastic parts by injecting molten material into a mold under pressure and then allowing it to cool. Once cooling is finished, the mold opens and the finished part is ejected. In the medical sector, this process is used for the production of devices and parts such as:
- Dental instruments
- Insert-molded biopsy sets, cannulas, and stylets
- Injection-molded handles and trigger components
- Luer taper hubs with ancillary attachments
- Surgical instruments
- Implantable devices
Plastic Injection Molding
With healthcare costs on the rise, injection molding is widely used to manufacture plastic parts because of its ability to quickly produce a large number of parts with tight tolerances at a low cost.
The main benefits of plastic injection molding include:
- Low scrap generation
- Fast production once the mold has been made
- Ability to fabricate complex parts with complex details in high volumes
- Highly cost-effective due to automation, short production times, and low levels of waste
- Excellent consistency—all parts are identical irrespective of the number of parts made
- Optional fillers to make the plastic parts stronger and more durable
- Designs can be optimized for manufacturability
- Biocompatibility of medical grade plastics
Plastic Injection Molding for the Medical Industry
Plastic parts for medical devices have a range of special requirements such as:
- Intricate designs
- Resistance to chemicals, heat, and moisture
- Compliance with stringent FDA standards
Surgical devices have to be light and ergonomically designed while maintaining good functionality. Devices like bags, clips, connectors, manifolds, needles, and tubing used for drug delivery need to be made with materials that are chemically inert, transparent, and tough enough to withstand sterilization.
In short, the medical injection molding process is influenced by many design and functionality considerations, such as:
- Lubricity and resistance to wear and tear
- Visual characteristics (transparency, opacity, color)
- Water absorption or repellence
- Chemical characteristics
- Application temperatures
- Mechanical stresses of the operating environment in which the part is used
The main materials used in medical plastic injection molding are:
- Polyetheretherketone (PEEK), a synthetic polymer used to make surgical implants
- Ultem™, a family of polyetherimide (PEI) products with properties and use cases similar to PEEK
Plastic Injection Molding with D&M Plastics
D&M Plastics has been manufacturing plastic injection molded parts for five decades. We have an ISO class 8/Class 100,000 clean room for use with relevant medical applications and hold ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certifications to ensure consistent quality with all products we manufacture.
We have more than 30 injection molding presses at our facility. We can handle injection molding in a variety of orientations, including horizontal and vertical and fabricate parts within tolerances as close as +/- 0.001 inches.
We currently serve clients in a variety of industries, such as:
Injection molding is suitable for fabricating parts with intricate details, very quickly, at a low cost. Plastic injection molding is often the most appropriate method to produce high-volumes of components for the medical industry. Medical injection molding can meet all the purity, complex design, and compliance requirements of the industry.
D&M Plastics is a great source for injection molding parts. We have produced more than 10 billion medical parts in the last 50 years. Our engineers are experts at designing parts for manufacturability and in resolving the difficult problems of the medical industry by looking for solutions outside the box. We will offer you globally competitive prices for all your injection molding requirements.