Plastics

Which Plastic?  Not all plasics are the same, and neither are all plastic moulders. Some plastics are better suited to autoclaving, whereas others are better suited to physically demanding environments. As such, it is imperative to take several factors into consideration when deciding which plastic material to use.

What's the PH?  Are you using an acidic or an alkaline detergent in your cage washer? The plastics used in our industry generally perform better in an acidic detergent. Be sure to check with your detergent supplier to see if there is an acidic alternative that will work with your water conditions.

Hard or soft water? Do you have hard water in your area? Hard water can build up a layer of mineral deposits (mainly calcium and magnesium) over the plastic surfaces. When the items are then autoclaved, these minerals can form their hydroxides, which are alkaline in nature.

Autoclaving? If so, then the degredation that would occur from being exposed to alkaline chemicals will be GREATLY accelerated. Especially if your facility adds amines to their steam. Any large institution will add amines to their steam to protect their pipes from the carbonic acid that can naturally build form in the condensate lines.

Fortunately, there are several plastics available to best suit your exact needs. When combined with the moulding talents that Ancare employes, the resulting cages and bottles just can't be beat! Our professional moulders have pioneered the industry, and are able to produce standards that no other plastic moulder can meet.

Polypropylene

Old timers will remember this plastic as the white opaque plastic that would just keep going. Unfortunatley, as regulations drove a preference to clear plastics it has fallen out of favor. Still, there are several cases where a ploypropylene cage or bottle will be just what the doctor ordered!

 

Polycarbonate

This perfectly clear plastic was the first clear plastic used in the industry. If clarity and strength are of the utmost importance, the PC is the way to go! It is autoclavable to 250˚ F (121C) but it has a low tolerance for alkaline environments.

High-Temperature Polycarbonate

Distinguished by its' yellow tint, Hi-Temp Polycarbonate is as strong as PC, has a higher temperature rating of 270˚ F (131C) and considerably better resistance to alkaline chemicals. For most facilities that autoclave on an occassional basis, don't have hard water and are using an acidic detergent, this will be the plastic of choice.

 

Polysulfone

Also known by the brand name of UDEL, this plastic has the same temperature rating as HT, 270˚ F (131C,) and considerably better resistance to alkaline chemicals, though it is physically weaker. It can be differentiated from HT by looking through the edge, noting it's brownish/copper color compared to the yellow of HT. Have hard water, amines, and lots of autoclaving? Then you'll want PLF.

Ancare uses these high quality plastics for a wide range of cages, bottles and filter tops. For information or to receive a quote on specific items, see our Quote Builder.