RF welding is manufacturing method that uses radio frequency (RF) to create a perfect seal between two layers of plastic material. Due to its safety, reliability, and other benefits, RF welding is used to create numerous products for the medical industry. This article will discuss how medical RF welding works, the benefits it brings, and common medical industry applications.
How Does Medical RF Welding Work?
RF welding, or RF sealing, is a process where pressure is conducted through two or more layers of dielectric plastic to merge the material’s molecules, fusing the plastic. The process works because polarized radio frequency molecules vibrate inside the polymer, causing friction that generates heat. Enough heat is generated to melt and seal the plastic layers together.
An RF welding sealer consists of a pneumatic press to open and close the energy applicator and a radio transmitter. These transmitters are also referred to as RF generators since they generate radio frequency energy. The RF welding process results in a permanent seal that features resistance equal to the material itself. These consistent, nearly transparent seals are uniform in size, super-strong, and airtight.
RF sealing technology is used to manufacture a wide variety of medical products, such as:
- IV bags
- Blood bags
- Drink bags
- Plasma bags
- Oxygen bags
- Medical dressings
- Medical packaging pouches
What Are the Benefits of RF Welding?
RF welding delivers a high degree of consistency and reliability in the seals it creates. Additionally, while sewn seams are vulnerable to pressure and at risk of breaking, and glued seams rely on toxic chemicals and time-consuming dry times, RF welding features none of these drawbacks. It is a fast and environmentally friendly process that results in products with excellent longevity.
Another benefit of RF welding is that it is compatible with materials of all thicknesses, unlike hot air bonding. There is also no risk of the products burning and the finished seal is tighter than what can be achieved with any other bonding method.
Applications of Medical RF Welding
Both healthcare facilities and equipment developers rely on RF-welded products for patient care. Common applications include:
- Bladders with tubing
- Containment and drainage bags
- Emergency breathing system bags
- Hospital bed deck and mattress barriers
- NPWT systems
- Hospital bed cushions
Kidney Dialysis Machines
Kidney dialysis machines must contain a patient’s blood for hours during treatment. RF welding techniques construct machinery durable enough to withstand these demands, including the dialysis machine’s intricate interior components as well as its exterior. Dialysis machine seals are crucial since this equipment will be operated for long hours on a regular basis.
IV Bag Machines
IV bags hold liquid that will directly enter a patient’s body, making sanitation an absolute necessity. While other sealing methods can produce toxins or introduce contaminants into IV devices, RF welding has none of these side effects. The sanitary seals are quick to produce and highly durable, preventing leaks and wasting resources.
Many types of single-use medical devices are used throughout the medical industry. For example, fluid management tools, enteral feeding devices, IV and blood transfusion equipment, and endo catch bags are just a few examples of high-use disposable products. Since these items play an integral role in routine medical operations, quality is essential for avoiding delays, interruptions, or dangerous product failure. It’s also important for these items to be sealed appropriately to prevent fluid loss and contamination.
Medically Designed Air Cushions
Medical air cushions use pressurized air to create a comfortable cushion for patients who are sitting or laying down. For these devices, a reliable seal is essential for product effectiveness. RF welding ensures no air will escape during inflation or use.
Medical RF Welding From Carolina Covertech
RF welding is an essential manufacturing process for the medical industry. It’s not only fast, contaminant-free, and reliable, but it’s also compatible with products of all sizes. Carolina Covertech specializes in RF welding for the medical industry and has over 162 years of experience in exceeding customer expectations.
We use the industry’s most technologically advanced equipment to create custom products from a range of plastic materials. You can learn more about our RF welding services here on our website. If you have any questions, contact us today.