Medical Grade Epoxy for Device Applications & Adhesives

In these times, where healthcare is frequently on our minds, it’s good to know that epoxy resin is leveraged in the medical field as a solution to address myriad challenges. Used in a variety of applications and device assembly, medical-grade epoxy resins serve as critical components for procedures and tools to help ensure our ongoing wellness.

As an FDA approved adhesive, specially formulated epoxy resin systems have been developed for medical device applications and tested for biocompatibility to ensure safety for human contact. Companies such as
Atom Adhesives and EpoxySet, Inc. use medical-grade epoxies in a host of bonding, laminating and repair applications for devices including MRI machines, catheters, probes and ultrasound equipment and for sealing critical joints and connections to ensure equipment reliability.

Unlike in most industrial-grade applications, which use two-part epoxies consisting of separate resin and curing agent, or hardener, which need to be mixed in precise ratios; the medical field frequently uses one-party epoxies due to the delicate nature of medical devices and their electronics. Since the reaction of one-part epoxies is more exothermic – generating less heat than two-part systems – it’s better for use around this sensitive equipment.

One-part epoxies are utilized in healthcare for a number of reasons:

  • Viscosity – able to be formulated and applied at almost any thickness required
  • Bonding – enabling superior mechanical and structural adhesion to a variety of substrates including glass, plastics and metals
  • Chemical & Heat Resistance – providing reliability under harsh conditions
  • Continuity & Support – sealing & protecting delicate medical devices & electronics

“One-component epoxies find use in a wide variety of medical products. Part of the reason is that the materials can be specially formulated to resist chemicals — including multiple cycles of autoclaving — while meeting rigorous biocompatibility standards. One-part epoxies also adhere well to metals, plastics, glass, and other substrates used in medical devices,” from ‘
Epoxies for Medical Device Applications’ by Lindsay Frick.

Low viscosity one-part epoxies contain both resin and curing agent in the mix and may be cured in seconds under LED or UV light like those from Tangent Systems, Winsted, CT. “Tangent Industries has developed a series of one-part LED light-curable adhesives that bond stainless-steel cannula into hubs of various substrates and configurations. The biocompatible adhesives are ideal for high-volume production of disposable hypodermic needles, syringes, safety syringes, pen needles, winged infusion sets, and biopsy needles.”

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