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Lubricant Deposition for Medical Devices

Fast drying, nonflammable deposition solvents for medical device manufacturing

Lubricant and coating deposition solvents are used in a wide range of medical device manufacturing applications, from coating needles and catheters with lubricants – in order to reduce patient discomfort during insertion.

Since the phaseout of HCFC-141b and other ozone depleting substances, a number of alternative deposition solvents have been investigated, with mixed results. Some raise workplace safety issues, because of flammability or toxicity concerns; others are too aggressive, and can damage delicate substrates.

Now 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids offer you a safe, effective, sustainable solution for dispersing a wide variety of coatings and lubricants including silicone, fluorocarbons and PTFE. Novec fluids are a family of nonflammable, fast drying deposition solvents that can be used to deposit lubricants and coatings on many different types of surfaces, including metals, plastics and elastomers.

Novec fluids have low surface tension for uniform coating, and they evaporate rapidly to potentially speed your drying process. They are being successfully used today for applying silicone and to disperse other lubricants on medical devices and components such as hypodermic needles, surgical and cutting blades, and PVC tubing.

  • Uniform wetting and coating
  • Can disperse a wide variety of coatings
  • Rapid drying
  • Nonflammable
  • Zero ozone depletion potential
  • Low global warming potential
Solvent solutions available for most substrates
Materials Substrates Application
Lubricants Stainless Steel IV Needles
Silicones Polycarbonate Catheters
Fluorochemicals Silicone Rubber Blades
PTFE Foams Tubing
Antifoams Non-wovens Plungers
Metals Filters
PVC Staples
Plastics Bags

Novec Fluids for Lubricant and Coating Deposition – Product Selection Guide

Note: The recommendations given here are for general consideration only. The compatibility of the solvent with the parts being coated must be considered prior to evaluation. Some plastics or elastomers may be sensitive to the more aggressive solvents.

For detailed product recommendations on your specific application, contact a 3M coating deposition specialist.

Typical Deposition Solvent Applications for 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids
Novec 7100 Novec 71IPA Novec 71DE Novec 71DA Novec 72DE Novec 72DA
Dispersion of PTFE *
Silicone deposition, staples, cartridge, and gun parts * * * *
Silicone on sutures * * *
Deposition of reactive silicone on blades and needles * * *
Carrier solvent application for needles and shunts *
Silicone coating on catheter raceways - polycarbonate *
Deposition of reactive and nonreactive silicone blends * * *

3M EMMD Medical Device Policy

3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids are intended for use as process solvents in applications, such as cleaning and coating, that historically used CFCs and HCFCs. They are not intended, nor approved, for incorporation into medical devices or for use in pharmaceuticals. 3M will not support applications such as lung perfusion or blood substitutes, that involve temporary or permanent implantation of the Novec engineered fluid.

Read a complete statement of 3M Electronic Markets Materials Division's Global Policy regarding the sale and use of products for medical and pharmaceutical applications.


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