Medical Gaskets Get Downsized
As medical devices and products get smaller and need to be sealed against biological fluids and agents, the gasket industry is getting a boost. Miniature gaskets designed to protect sensitive devices can take care of the needs of many of the medical firms that are currently designing nano-sized devices.
These gaskets have to have two important characteristics – they have to be strong and they have to be small. Biomedical devices are exposed to everything from fluids to pharmaceutical agents and have to be able to withstand the reaction not only between their materials and the outside, but also changes to body chemistry and other fluctuations in exposure. Additionally, medical gaskets for nano-sized devices need to be tiny. Many of the devices are as small as a postage stamp. For tiny analytical devices, some are covered in test tubes that are so small they can hardly be seen. The only way to protect the fluids in each of those tubes is with an equally tiny gasket.
In order to ensure that there is low reactivity, many companies are looking to low-reactive materials, such as perfluorelastomer instead of other options such as EPDM or silicone. Perfluorelastomer offers low extractables when exposed to a variety of different types of solvents and other chemicals, a considerable benefit in the medical industry.
Other challenges in dealing with nano-sized micro-technology is that the gaskets may not take on the traditional round, square or oval shape that is normal in gasket manufacturing in addition to the vast number of gaskets needed in some of these devices. In fact, being able to configure a different gasket geometry is one of the most pressing needs in the industry. By using perfluroelastomer, thicknesses of 0.002 inches is possible, which can allow more than 1,000 sealing surfaces to be accommodated in a postage stamp sized design.
In terms of cost, with how little material is needed to create these tiny medical gaskets, customers usually choose the higher grade perfluroelastomer over silicone or EPDM. Not only is it less reactive, but the labor and design required to create these tiny gaskets is much more than the cost of the material.
Gasko can create medical gaskets to fit your needs! For more information, call us today to speak with one of our gasket engineers about your needs. Call now!