Polyethylene is light, flexible, tough, and biologically inert, but it cannot withstand high sterilization temperatures. It is often used for medical supplies such as dispensing bottles, IV tubes, and medical implants. It is available in several variations—e.g., LDPE, HDPE, and UHMW—with varying levels of rigidity and durability. UHMW is often integrated into prosthetics for the hip, knee, or other joints.
Polypropylene is highly durable and can withstand the extreme temperatures of autoclave and radiation sterilization processes. This makes it ideal for reusable medical devices such as syringes, test tubes, beakers, and pipettes.
Polystyrene is notable for its hardness, chemical- and temperature-stability, and biocompatibility. It is transparent, less flexible than other medical grade plastics, and often used in test tubes, Petri dishes, and diagnostic equipment.
Polycarbonate is transparent, tough, and highly resistant to impacts, UV radiation, and heat, all of which make it highly valuable for manufacturing dialysis equipment, IV connectors, and even surgical implements.
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