Polyphenylsulfone or PPSU has numerous properties, making it an excellent metal-replacement material for various medical applications. The most noteworthy is its heat resistance. It has the potential to withstand extreme temperatures (up to 260°C). Also, its resistance to harsh disinfectants and chemicals makes it ideal for hospitals.
Some other incredible properties are its high impact resistance, good flexural modulus, and amazing durability. All these properties make PPSU an ideal candidate for single- and multi-use surgical instruments. Its mechanical properties also make it much lighter than other types of metal medical equipment.
Let us have a better understanding of what makes PPSU a better alternative.
What makes PPSU a Better Alternative?
Well, it is clear that PPSU is better than its metal counterparts. It, however, also competes with other polymers that are used in the medical segment. One of them is Polycarbonate (PC), which is used extensively for medical applications similar to PPSU.
However, PPSU has now started to replace PC. The reason being, PPSU can offer better heat resistance, sterilization, chemical resistance, and hydrolytic stability. Due to these reasons, the longevity of the medical equipment is improved. That is a significant benefit during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Another polymer that is known as Polyether ether ketone (PEEK) is also widely preferred in the medical industry due to its excellent resistance to detergents, chemicals, and disinfectants. It also offers good stiffness compared to PPSU. However, PPSU offers higher impact strength compared to PEEK, making it a better alternative for medical applications.
PPSU Processing Considerations
PPSU can be extruded or injection molded by using conventional equipment, and processing, accompanied by relatively high mold temperatures. PPSU can also enable secondary processing such as bonding, welding, coating, and printing.
Due to this, PPSU can be available in the form of filaments, making them suitable for complex geometric components and 3D printing for the medical sector. We can, therefore, expect huge growth in the 3D-printing sector for PPSU.
The PPSU market is predicted to grow from 35.8 – 49.0 million pounds through 2022, with a CAGR of 6.5%. The already evolving medical sector will be a key driver for the surge in demand for PPSU.
What’s more, PPSU filaments and films are also used for assembling reusable plastic face shields. This contribution to help protect, improve, and sustain life conditions has become more evident to the medical industry. All these factors make PPSU an ideal material of choice for medical-grade applications in 2021 and beyond!