Industry Trends

The Most Important Ways Medical Grade Seals Have Helped Fight COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic has raised many complications for the medical industry and medical manufacturers. As more patients continue to flood hospitals and doctors’ offices, shortages in medical equipment are overwhelming. Many manufacturers from a variety of industries have changed their operations to meet growing medical demands and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Medical grade seals are crucial to many devices the public is currently relying on, such as testing equipment and ventilators. Here’s a closer look at some of the most important ways medical seals are helping fight COVID-19 right now. 

 

Critical Testing Equipment

With a rapid spread of the virus, US medical manufacturers were overwhelmed with the task of mass-producing testing equipment. Testing is the first step in containing the virus and stopping the spread, so manufacturers have felt the pressure to produce this equipment on tight turnaround times. 

Testing equipment relies on precise rubber sealing components that comply with FDA regulations. Typically, medical seals can take years to be approved for sale by the FDA. However, with skyrocketing demands, the FDA has done their part to make the approval process as quick as possible, which has allowed manufacturers to carry medical seals from prototype to production and into the hands of medical professionals. 

 

Ventilator Components

Similar to testing equipment, the demand for ventilators and ventilator components has been massive. While manufacturers are working to produce sealing components as quickly as possible, designing an effective seal is no easy task. 

First, ventilator seals must be compatible with their environment, which includes compatibility with air, pure oxygen and contact with humans. This will prevent any hardening and cracking over an extended period of time. 

Sealing components should also be free of any volatile matter that may evaporate out of the rubber seal. If this happens, the harmful vapors can be inhaled by a patient or even catch fire when in contact with oxygen. To prevent this, use low outgassing rubber compounds which typically go through a post cure cycle that reduce volatiles. The material should also be compatible with the application environment. 

 

Materials You Can Trust

Every rubber material is made to handle different environments. The medical industry relies on a few rubber materials that remain durable and consistent in every medical application. These include: 

  • Silicone
  • Fluoroelastomer/FKM
  • Ethylene-Propylene/EPDM

Apple Rubber offers these rubber materials, as well as other USP Class VI and ISO 10993 rubber sealing materials to meet the demands of the industry. For more information about our medical seals, contact us today

 

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