There are numerous properties of vinyl that lead it to being used in medical applications these include:
Clarity and Transparency
Because of its physical properties, products made from vinyl can be formulated with excellent transparency to allow for continual monitoring of fluid flow. If a colour-coded application is needed, virtually any colour of the rainbow is available.
Flexibility, Durability and Dependability
Not only does vinyl offer the flexibility necessary for applications such as blood bags and IV containers, but it can also be relied upon for its strength and durability, even under changing temperatures and conditions.
Vinyl products can be easily sterilized using such methods as steam, radiation or ethylene oxide.
Vinyl is compatible with virtually all pharmaceutical products used in healthcare facilities today. It also has excellent water and chemical resistance, helping to keep solutions sterile.
Resistance to Chemical Stress Cracking
Vinyl's resilience helps assure that medical products consistently function for extended use in demanding applications.
Ease of Processing
Vinyl can easily be extruded to make IV tubing, thermoformed to make "blister" packaging or blow moulded to make rigid hollow containers. This versatility is a major reason why vinyl is the material of choice for medical product and packaging designers.
Thanks to a significant investment on the part of the vinyl industry to develop automated sorting technology, vinyl products can be, and are being, recycled. Pilot programs show promise for recycling non-infectious vinyl medical waste, as well.
The use of vinyl plays a big role in containing rising healthcare costs. With vinyl accounting for over 25 percent of medical plastics currently in use, a switch to an alternative could cost the healthcare community hundreds of millions of dollars.