Critical force testing from a medical perspective can cover a wide range of needs. Here are a few examples of how a medical device manufacturer can use a Force Tester.

1. Compression testing of syringes for injection

A prime example of uniaxial force application, syringes can be tested to verify injection force to determine controlled injection rates. Measuring plunger pressure while drawing or injecting a sample liquid will give ranges for controlled injections based on fluid pressure. Syringe size and fluid viscosity are some factors that affect the amount of pressure needed to depress a syringe plunger. Knowing the range of forces generated with the syringe can help professionals perform controlled injections.

2. Puncture and cut testing for surgical equipment

Testing applications can use rubber sheeting and vise fixtures to determine how much force a syringe, scalpel blade, or other sharpened medical equipment requires to penetrate a similar material – a user’s personal protective equipment (PPE) or a patient’s skin – both important to minimize applied force and prevent unnecessary harm. An injection needle will only be used once before disposal, but a scalpel can be used several times in the same surgical procedure; knowing how long (length of cut) or how many cuts can be made before a blade dulls is critical to ensure clean cuts and minimal harm to patients.

3. Peel and tear testing for bandages, packaging, PPE

Sterilized packaging for medical equipment must be airtight yet breakable by users – designed to not fail during storage. Peel testing can determine the force needed to break seals, and tear testing can evaluate package opening methods for immediate access. This allows manufacturers to determine packing methods that protect equipment while ensuring users can access equipment in the event of urgent need.

4. Break testing for prosthetics, supports

Prosthetics, bone implants, and supports such as casts, braces, and crutches must support the patient’s weight throughout recovery or component lifespan. For example, hip replacements operate within the same musculature, cardiovascular systems, and forces as the original hip. Knowing the load ranges that artificial joints can support provides insights for implant manufacture. Similar testing can be made for prosthetics, including applications to determine bending and breaking forces along the length.

5. Clean room standards, operator safety

Medical force testers must often conform to environmental control and safety requirements, such as ISO cleanroom standards and manufacturer’s operator safety standards. Force tester shields are a useful safety measure, protecting operators from samples that produce debris upon breaking. Standard PPE can provide safety measures from the samples, such as safety glasses, gloves, and cleanroom-appropriate coverings.

Starrett offers a wide range of force equipment that’s easy to set up, operate, and maintain. Force and material measurement products include handheld force gages, mechanical stands, motorized stands, and a complete range of software, fixtures, and accessory options suitable for any application.

For more information:
The L.S. Starrett Company
 www.starrett.com/forceflexibility