The joint study on environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) evaluated the performance of Sabic’s thermoplastics used for medical device
enclosures during repeated exposure to PDI’s Super Sani-Cloth wipes, one of the leading surface disinfectants widely used in the healthcare environment to help prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
Medical devices and equipment are regularly subjected to repeated contact with hospital-grade disinfectants, but environmental stress cracking has yet to be explored in-depth. The joint PDI
study, completed in 2016, provided insights about issues such as disinfection guidelines & the link to compatibility; major causes of material incompatibility; and importance of identifying correct materials for medical device
housing and parts.
It also focused on aspects of the application development process, such as polymer morphology, chemical type and concentration, frequency of cleaning and residual stress in moulded components.
“Preventing HAIs is priority for PDI, and critical to that mission is helping to ensure medical equipment is properly disinfected and maintained. In order to better understand and address compatibility issues between healthcare devices and surface products, it requires equipment manufacturers, disinfectant manufacturers and healthcare professionals to work together. Working with industry leaders like Sabic
allows us to combine our expertise in disinfectants and the healthcare environment, with their extensive understanding of polymer chemistries, part design and molding considerations. The outcomes of a joint approach can ultimately benefit patients by better protecting them from potential harm caused by damaged or improperly disinfected equipment,” said Cheryl Moran, senior director of portfolio management, PDI
Cathleen Hess, healthcare business leader for Sabic, added, “If materials are not appropriately chosen for the healthcare environment, frequent application of cleaning chemicals can cause device enclosures to crack prematurely, which can lead to increased maintenance costs for healthcare providers. It is a cost that can and should be avoided. Our work with PDI
will help customers make more informed material selection decisions to avoid compatibility issues and ensure the best HAI preventative actions are taken.”