Putting device durability to the test

When choosing a polymer for a medical device, it’s crucial to understand how the material will perform in the real world. Eastman’s 4-step test helps show how plastics hold up when exposed to frequent disinfection, but it’s also important to see how that translates into actual performance in the field.

 
That's why we developed the housing drop test. This test can be used alongside the 4-step method to understand how a well-designed device will respond to impact after being disinfected.

 

Using materials commonly found in electronic medical device housings and hardware, we designed medical device housings with uniform wall thickness, gradual transitions, and smooth corners to help minimize stress. Each molded part was assembled with six screws using a fixed torque.

 

The devices were then submerged in Virex® TB for approximately two hours. To replicate use in the hospital environment, we dropped each device multiple times from a height of three feet and visually inspected for cracks and breakage.

 

The results of this test match closely with results from the 4-step test. To see the test in action and learn more about how different material performed, check out this video.