The medical world is full of challenges, and Avantor's NuSil unit is ready to tackle them with an array of liquid silicone rubbers.
The firm boasts a deep product portfolio of self-lubricating LSRs, which, according to Brian Reilly — the business development director for biomaterials at NuSil — help original equipment medical device designers minimize friction to enhance the performance of their devices. The firm currently has six commercialized formulations that can be utilized for medical device applications, and Reilly said the firm can customize each to accommodate specific lubricity or elastomeric properties.
"Although primarily dependent on the device design or its intended function, friction may be an issue that nearly all device designers face at some point in their career," Reilly said in an email. "The idea that a device may experience friction during its use can certainly limit its ideal performance or intended functionality."
He added that the traditional solution to friction challenges requires manufacturers to apply a silicone lubricant to the molded part, adding a step in the manufacturing process. But self-lubricating LSRs help eliminate that step, enhancing efficiency. Lubricity is built into the silicone elastomer, yielding a lubricious surface onto the molded component over time after vulcanization.
NuSil said self-lubricating LSRs are ideal for uses in medical balloons, valves, stoppers, O-rings, silicone devices with moving or sliding parts and parts that require assembly.
"When using a self-lubricating LSR, the lubricant is built into the elastomer system, so when a molded part is created, the lubrication elutes to the surface," Reilly said. "This removes the need for a secondary processing step of adding a lubricant after the part is molded."