The following case study is the property of Plastic Expert Group and cannot be copied or distributed without prior permission. Our case analysis does not imply that this specific plastic failure will happen systematically. Every case is unique and should be treated accordingly.
PROBLEM: FAILURE OF PLASTIC PARTS AND MEDICAL DEVICES BY EXPOSURE TO DISINFECTANTS AND CLEANERS.
Soda Fountain Dispenser Part (molded using ABS) that Failed by Exposure to Disinfectant Cleaner
Most people assume that the surfaces of plastic parts and medical devices can be cleaned/disinfected using normal cleaning products. However, many cleaners contain aggressive chemicals that can cause catastrophic failure of plastic parts.
Many disinfectants and cleaners contain aggressive detergents that can attack the surface of the plastic causing the plastic to turn brittle. Many common plastics including PVC, CPVC, styrenics plastics such as ABS, SAN, and polystyrene, acrylics such as Plexiglas, and polycarbonates such as Lexan are especially vulnerable to attack.
QUESTION:HOW CAN I BE CERTAIN MY PLASTIC WILL WITHSTAND EXPOSURE TO DISINFECTANT CLEANERS?
There is a standard test method to determine if a plastic will withstand exposure to a cleaner without becoming brittle. We offer ASTM D543 testing to determine the chemical compatibility of a plastic against disinfectant cleaners.
We offer forensic failure analysis services to determine if a plastic part or medical device failed due to exposure to a disinfectant cleaner. We can often determine which specific cleaner caused the failure.
If the material used to fabricate your part is especially sensitive to commonly used cleaning chemicals, we can recommend the best plastic to use for your part that will be resistance to most cleaning products