Tom Waits once sang of a character named Small Change, who apparently “got rained on with his own .38,” and device makers might sometimes have felt as though small changes to their devices didn’t always work out so well, either.
Textures vary according to their individual depth, the degree of draft on the sidewalls, and the frequency of peaks and valleys for a given surface area. Some textures are more difficult to print successfully than others, and there are certain textures that are simply impossible to cover completely.
Although polymers have suffered through some tough media disparagement as of late (biodegradability issues) it is highly unlikely that these polymers are replaceable for medical device manufacturing. These specialized materials are indispensible for providing low cost but effective vehicles for delivering everything from successful operating techniques to therapeutic medicines.
Medical grade inks used to mark medical devices should meet important safety standards. The United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) 30, NF 25, 2007 standard also known as Class VI is widely used to comply with stringent FDA rules for products that come in contact with the human body.
Many medical devices are made from medical grade plastics that typically have low surface energy. It is often necessary to modify the surface energy in order to guarantee the adhesion of any permanent markings as well as to improve device performance. By altering the surface properties, critical markings on devices such as catheters adhere better and they can slide and maneuver more easily within the body.
Fluoropolymers are among the most versatile and durable polymers available to medical device manufacturers. However, some of the physical properties that make them attractive for very challenging applications, such as their low coefficient of friction (CoF), also make them difficult to mark.
Partnering with its customers in research, development and innovation is what sets TouchMark apart. TouchMark offers a wide range of material characterization and analytical services to assist customers in choosing the best pre-treatment and print process for their device.
TouchMark works with its medical and electronic device manufacturing customers on solutions that temporarily modify the surface energy of difficult-to- print plastics. Using plasma gasses, we can increase surface energy to promote permanent ink adhesion.
The screen printing process is routinely used to mark medical and electronic components. The standard application for screen process is the direct printing of flat or straight sided cylindrical and conical shapes. Some examples are: faceplates, front panels, and signs. Utilizing the proper ink, a wide range of substrates can be decorated, including medical grade plastics. With state-of- the-art equipment, our experienced team is able to maintain a volume production level with outstanding quality control.