Diagnostic instrument panels are a mainstay in many industries, including healthcare, where they are used in imaging, radiation therapy, monitoring of blood pressure, medication administration, chemotherapy, anesthesia. The panels exist in every hospital section, including the emergency room, intensive care units, recovery units, general wards, and outpatient clinics. Slush molding offers lightweight, durable parts for use in diagnostic instrument panels and other medical devices.
Slush Molding for Medical Equipment
Slush molding’s primary use is manufacturing medical items that require a hollow interior. Some of the products in which this process is used include medical pads, cushions, armrests, hospital beds and accessories, diagnostic equipment, gurneys, and stretchers. Since safety from contamination is a critical requirement for any medical facility, all equipment needs to limit areas where bacteria can accumulate and withstand frequent sanitization.
Materials Used in Slush Molding
The materials used in slush molding typically have a low melting point. Products such as natural rubber, silicone, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are ideal for this type of manufacturing. PVC starts out as a powder compound, which is mixed with liquid ingredients to form a thick fluid. After heating, the fluid is poured into a custom mold, cured in an oven, and then cooled. The resulting rubbery-textured product is ideal for medical tubing, soft-touch protective covers for diagnostic instrument panels, and anti-bacterial handles and grips used in medical facilities.
Benefits of Slush Molding
Slush molding offers several benefits for manufacturers of diagnostic instrument panels and other medical devices. These include:
- Light in weight: Slush-molded items are typically lightweight because they have hollow interiors.
- Low-cost: The quantity of material used to form the outer shell or skin is less than that required for a more solid profile. The die used in slush molding is typically simple and requires minimal manufacture. Both these factors help to keep costs down.
- The slush-molding process creates hollow parts without the need to use cores.
- Molds are reusable, and the materials cool quickly, saving time and cost.
- Slush molding delivers high-quality detail and good surface finishes.
In a busy hospital environment, multiple employees access the instrument panels daily and frequent disinfection occurs, which could result in damage to the panels’ surfaces unless they are manufactured from durable materials.
A Lightweight, Protective Cover
As the world learns to live with the presence of COVID-19, sanitization will remain a high priority in every healthcare institution. Slush molding offers a low-cost, lightweight, protective cover for multiple medical devices, including diagnostic instrument panels. When you’re manufacturing medical equipment that requires a tough exterior covering capable of withstanding frequent touching and cleaning, this might be the right technique for you.
For more information on the use of slush molding in medical equipment manufacturing, please contact us at 810.376.2085.