Molded Plastics Replace Metal in Testing Equipment
The metal parts that are traditionally used in gynecological applications have several drawbacks that affect both doctor and patient. For example, they must be sterilized after each use, and their cold temperature can cause patient discomfort.
Endeavoring to eliminate these drawbacks, Welch-Allyn Corp. (Skaneateles Falls, NY) opted to mold high-volume, disposable parts using Polifil, a 10% talc-filled polypropylene from The Plastics Group of America (Woonsocket, RI). Designed for a device used in Pap smear testing, the tight-tolerance parts are made with a 16-cavity valve-gated hot runner, which can produce parts in large quantities. The parts feature two ratchets built into the yoke for adjustment and release of the product. Molded-in teeth on one part of the yoke work together with a ratchet to open and close separately molded acrylic blades, which play a role in gynecological examinations.
Sales of the Welch-Allyn product have soared in recent years, according to Neil Hoselton, the company's commodity manager of plastics. "We see a trend toward the use of single-use, disposable parts in the medical industry," he says.
For more information about Polifil polypropylene, call The Plastics Group of America at 401/767-2700.