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Fluoroelastomer Compound Developed for Use in Making Flexible Endoscopes

Article-Fluoroelastomer Compound Developed for Use in Making Flexible Endoscopes

Fluoroelastomer Compound Developed for Use in Making Flexible Endoscopes

A new high-performance fluoroelastomer compound is chemical and temperature resistant, exhibits good flexural fatigue and electrical insulation, and has passed cytotoxicity tests. Developed by the Cri-Tech Div. of IMMIX Technologies (Hanover, MA), the medical-grade fluoroelastomer can be used for applications such as flexible tubing for endoscopes and other surgical instruments.

A new fluoroelastomer is the key ingredient of durable, chemical-resistant bendable rubber.

The first commercial application for the compound by The Plasticoid Co. (Elkton, MD), involves the production of bendable tubes used in refurbishing flexible endoscopes. "Cri-Tech provides us with a flexible, puncture-resistant fluoroelastomer compound that we modify to manufacture bendable rubber," said Plasticoid president Jim Palinkas. Tubing made from the rubber reportedly outperforms similar PVC, silicone, and EPDM components. Designed to house endoscopic wiring, the tubes range in size from 4.2 to 13 mm with 0.012–0.02-mm wall thicknesses.

Mobile Instrument Service & Repair Inc. (Belfontaine, OH), a surgical equipment repair company, uses the flexible tubing to restore endoscopes. According to product manager Robert Purtell, "hospitals save money by properly refurbishing endoscopes with bending rubbers that provide long-term protection against punctures. Fluoroelastomer bending rubbers from Plasticoid are durable and consistent, enabling us to provide hospitals with a solution to what is often a recurring problem."

Katherine Sweeny

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