Sorption of ethylene oxide by medical polymers
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1. Sorption capacities have been measured for some polymer materials used in medical components in relation to E0 as sterilizing gas.
2. Effective sorption coefficients for E0 have been calculated for these materials.
3. The values of σef lead to the recommendation that polyethylene and silicone rubbers should be used preferentially for components of apparatus that is to be gas sterilized. These rubbers have a fairly high sorption (close to that for natural rubber), but they differ from other rubbers in having very high diffusion coefficients , so they are degassed rapidly.
4. The effective sorption coefficients enable one to calculate the equilibrium E0 sorption by a polymer for various E0 concentrations and temperatures within the range examined.
KeywordsOxide Polymer Silicone Ethylene Polyethylene
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