SSG Assists Needleless IV Manufacturer

A manufacturer of needleless intravenous IV components was having significant problems with its silicone plungers, which were housed in a rigid plastic housing. The high friction silicone rubber valves were lubricated with silicone oil or grease to allow low friction, consistent valve action. Oil migration issues resulted in valve tears, valves sticking in open or closed positions, and inconsistent valve action. Contamination problems as well as valve malfunction resulted when silicone was applied improperly.

The manufacturer approached SSG for help in addressing these problems. It needed a way to lower the friction of the silicone rubber surface, while eliminating the need for the costly silicone lubricant it was applying to silicone valves. SSG was also asked to add anti-microbial properties in response to an increase in Hospital Acquired Infections.

SSG had previously developed a Slick SilSM coating to reduce the friction properties of silicone rubber that we determined would work for the customer’s application. Our chemists modified the existing formula with a silver ion technology additive to deliver necessary anti-microbial properties. The new coating was tested and proved to provide the customer with a high performance, low friction coating system as well as a 99.9% bio-pathogen kill rate.

Next, SSG developed a bulk process to chemically bond its Slick SilSM to the entire outside surface of its customer’s silicone valves. Testing determined the cost saving bulk process to apply Slick SilSM provided both values the customer needed, low friction and low cost. Production volume is now more than a million pieces per year. Valves are processed at SSG in a class 100,000 clean room that matches the environment in which the silicone valves are molded.

SSG decreased costs and eliminated the need for silicone oil lubricant. The customer now has a superior product at a significant cost saving.