Simco - Static Attraction in Medical Plastics Manufacturing

- The Primary Cause of Particle Contamination -
Our thanks to Simco for allowing us to reprint the following article.
By Roger Peirce – Simco an ITW Company


Static attraction, as a root cause, is responsible for the vast majority of particle contamination yield losses experienced in many medical device manufacturing operations. The medical devices include catheters, stents, optical lenses, IVs, syringes, hip/knee replacements, pacemakers, blood filters and vials, breast implants and other implantable devices, etc., etc. – essentially all plastic or insulative devices in medical applications. This article summarizes recent studies across a number of companies manufacturing these types of plastic medical devices – that have led to substantial yield improvements when the electrostatic attraction (ESA) problems were eliminated.

These studies clearly point to the fact that static attraction is usually the overwhelming major contributor in contamination yield losses during manufacturing of these devices – in many cases, the contamination yield losses were determined to be virtually 100% caused by static attraction. Addressing particle contamination losses by implementing a “cleaner” clean room (a much costlier approach) did not provide anywhere near the level of yield improvement provided by eliminating the static attraction contribution!

(In the semiconductor manufacturing industry, yield losses resulting from increased particle contamination on semiconductor wafers due to the effects of ESA are well documented. If ionization techniques are not implemented properly, yield losses are quite common.)

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