With 40 years’ experience of injection-molding silicone and production operations in both Europe and North America, Nolato is a world-leading manufacturer of a range of silicone components, both for use in the human body and to improve medtech devices.
Silicone is an amazing material for use in medtech applications. It has a variety of useful properties that offer a wealth of opportunities. Silicone can, for instance, be used to create complex components with greater detail and more precise dimensions than many other materials. Components can be injection-molded with walls as thin as 0.1 mm or as extremely small details weighing as little as 0.001 grams. But also as larger components with complex geometric shapes or to create special effects together with different types of plastic.
“This makes silicone incredibly versatile,” explains Kristian Larsson, Head of Sales at Nolato MediTech. “Silicone is most familiar as a soft material, but it exists in everything from gel form to a material that’s as hard as a thermoplastic.
“If a non-slip surface is needed to ensure a surgeon has a firm grip of their instruments, we can create this by injection-molding plastic overmolded with silicone on specific parts,” says Kristian Larsson. “Or if a smooth surface is needed instead, that’s possible too. The silicone can also be self-lubricating to facilitate assembly and use in special applications.”
“These days silicone can even be optically completely transparent and used for optical sensors, medical lasers, endoscopes and other medically related systems,” explains Kristian Larsson.
Coating the surface of a medtech device with this type of transparent silicone imparts a purely cosmetic effect, making the device always appear new. This optical silicone does not lose its transparency, is not discolored by UV light, for example from the sun, and is tear-resistant. The device consequently appears new to both the doctor and patient, even if it has been used many times before.
“As I mentioned, it’s a material that offers a wide range of possibilities. And we’re only just scratching the surface of those possibilities.”
Nolato has been injection-molding for over 40 years, giving us extensive experience and expertise, which is particularly important when working with silicone.
“The advantages of silicone, such as its viscosity, also make it really challenging to master,” explains Kristian Larsson. “So you really need a lot of experience and know-how for silicone injection-molding to work as intended.”
These days Nolato injection-molds silicone in cleanrooms for medical device companies in Sweden at Nolato MediTech in and Nolato MediTor in Sweden, as well as in the US at Nolato Contour in Wisconsin, and Nolato GW Silicones in Vermont.