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Understand the increasing use of plastics in the industry
The medical industry has taken on a significant role regarding innovative applications developed with plastic.
This is because it guarantees greater flexibility for the manufacturing of devices as it does not corrode and is more rupture-resistant as well as having other advantages compared to other types of raw materials, such as versatility, lightness and economy.
Furthermore, the material can be adapted to the requirements regarding special geometries and weight, which are usually very demanding in this market. Therefore, its incorporation into the modern medical industry has increased exponentially over the last decade, generating business opportunities for plastic product transformers.
Trends in the application of plastic in the medical industry
According to the research “Analysis of polymers for the medical market per product and per segment for 2020” carried out by an American Consulting company, the global plastics market in the medical industry should reach 17.05 billion euros until 2020, with
an annual growth of 5.6%.
Therefore, advances in medicine represent a great opportunity for the plastic sector, allowing access of these entrepreneurs into a very strong market with high added value – in spite of crises and variations in the prices of energy or raw materials.
Miniaturization is one of the main trends in the sector. “Nowadays we are talking about nanorobots that travel in our bloodstream and attack tumors and other conditions. Materials like silicon, for example, help us to find the balance between strength and flexibility needed in cases like this”, explains Anelise da Silveira, a surgeon. “In the prosthetics area, plastics are being called in to replace metals, thanks to their viscoelastic properties, which are similar to bone and soft tissue performance in our bodies”, explains the doctor.
A pioneer Belgian company in the area
Solvay is a pioneer in plastic technology for the manufacturing of medical equipment. It develops special polymers used in implantable and medical devices and surgical instruments.
“Surgical retractors made of special materials are Solvay’s most advanced examples, and show the advantages of high performance polymers over metal in these applications”, explains Helena Borges, a materials engineer at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and graduated in Plastics Engineering at UniSociesc.
The especial material mentioned by Helena is the plastic developed by the company: Ixef® PARA and AvaSpire® PAEK. The engineer maintains that “the application of Solvay polymers can significantly reduce production costs and allow original equipment manufacturers to sell single-use instruments, which are normally more cost-effective than those made of metal.”
PPSU and PSU polymers offer many features to address several demands, mainly in the production of autoclavable cases in the dental and hospital areas. They are transparent, light and easy to transport, besides being easy to clean and sanitize and providing high
performance and durability. It was recently announced that an innovative material would replace metal in the segment of removable partial denture prosthesis: the special polymer AKP, which allows prothesis to be made without metal, are more comfortable and lighter than those made with a metal structure.
PLÁSTICO BRASIL – Feira Internacional do Plástico e da Borracha (International Plastic and Rubber Exhibition)
Date: March 25 – 29, 2019
Venue: São Paulo Expo Exhibition & Convention Center