PPSU replaces PC in demanding diagnostic tool applications

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  • Highly resistant to methanol, iodine, phenol and other chemical agents
  • Material withstands repeated steam sterilization
  • Compatibility with ultrasonic welding

The company ELITechGroup Biomedical Systems, a leading manufacturer of in vitro diagnostic equipment and reagents, has replaced polycarbonate (PC) by Radel polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) resin of Solvay Specialty Polymers to injection mold two carousels for its Aerospray slide stainer systems used for hematology and microbiology applications. The PPSU material features superior chemical resistance, toughness and the ability to withstand repeated steam sterilization. In addition, the material allows more design options due to its compatibility with ultrasonic welding.

Radel PPSU resin’s high transparency, superior chemical resistance, ability to withstand repeated steam sterilization and compatibility with ultrasonic welding led ELITechGroup Biomedical Systems to choose it over other transparent thermoplastics to upgrade two injection-molded carousels used in ELITechGroup’s industry-leading diagnostic slide staining tools (source: Solvay Specialty Polymers)

Radel PPSU resin’s high transparency, superior chemical resistance, ability to withstand repeated steam sterilization and compatibility with ultrasonic welding led ELITechGroup Biomedical Systems to choose it over other transparent thermoplastics to upgrade two injection-molded carousels used in ELITechGroup’s industry-leading diagnostic slide staining tools (source: Solvay Specialty Polymers)

Polycarbonate frequently exhibited crazing and cracking

ELITechGroup had traditionally used a transparent polycarbonate (PC) resin to mold the tops and bottoms of its 12- and 30-slide carousel designs, as well as the thermoplastic caps that retain magnets in each carousel. However, PC frequently exhibited crazing and cracking after repeated exposure to the harsh chemicals common to slide-staining applications. To amend this, the company set out to redesign its carousels by sampling several alternative transparent materials to mold the carousel parts, including polyethylene, polyvinylidene fluoride, polybutylene terephthalate-based blends and a copolyester material.

Highly resistant to methanol, iodine, phenol and other chemical agents

The two carousel designs integrate magnets to enable the slide stainer to detect the part’s rotational position as well as the number of slide placements it has. Because the carousel and the magnet caps are both injection molded using PPSU, it is a comparatively simple and cost-effective step to firmly bond these parts together using ultrasonic welding.

Compatibility with ultrasonic welding

Radel PPSU is highly resistant to methanol, iodine, phenol and other chemical agents that are applied to slides via atomizing spray nozzles inside ELITechGroup’s diagnostic systems. The material can also withstand repeated steam sterilization and maintain its toughness and impact resistance.

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