Rising medical expenditures, increasingly stringent healthcare regulations, and growing demand for both disposable and increasingly complex medical devices are all driving healthcare OEMs and fabricators to seek versatile, new material technologies. According to Dow Corning (Midland, MI), a global leader in silicones and silicon-based technology and innovation for the medical device industry, these converging trends are accelerating worldwide demand for its portfolio of high-performance liquid silicone rubber (LSR) materials. These include its biomedical-grade Silastic LSRs, Dow Corning Class VI C6 LSRs, the Dow Corning QP1 LSR product family launched in 2012, and its upcoming Dow Corning QP1-2XX LSR line planned for launch early next year.
According to market research firm Freedonia, the medical industry is among the fastest growing markets for silicone materials. LSRs are attracting particular interest in this segment for their ease of processing and ability to form high-precision parts. In addition to delivering all of these qualities, Dow Corning's QP1 LSRs have distinguished themselves further by delivering enhanced durability for demanding applications.
The company's new QP1-2XX product family will introduce improved rheology, allowing it to flow quickly at lower pressures to support high-volume liquid injection molding for cost-optimised production of small, highly complex medical parts. The material's fast cure profile will reduce cycle times by at least 15% compared with competitive silicone products, according to Gary Lord, Global Strategic Marketing Director for Healthcare at Dow Corning.
All LSR products in Dow Corning's current QP1 and planned QP1-2XX portfolios are platinum-catalysed silicone elastomers manufactured under ISO 9001 compliance and backed by regular audits of the company's manufacturing facilities.