Determining Demands for Durability

Durability of packaging materials is a common concern among medical device manufacturers. "When companies see failures in the field or in testing, it can be quite a challenge to determine what occurred and how to best address the issue," reports Dhuanne Dodrill, president, Rollprint Packaging Products ( Faced with such failures, MDMs may immediately believe they need what is often perceived as more-durable materials, such as nylon, says Dodrill. "But there are some common misconceptions about material performance as it relates to durability," she explains.

Dodrill will be tackling those misconceptions in her HealthPack presentation, "What Does Durability Mean for Flexible SBS Materials?" scheduled for Thursday, March 8. Dodrill will offer a definition of durability and the corresponding failures modes as well as explain the role that can be played by appropriate material selection and test methods.

MDMs should consider their failure modes to determine what material qualities to consider when attempting to determine a material's durability. "These include puncture, abrasion, cuts, flexing, and combination events," she explains.

Dodrill will offer guidance on what materials work best with those conditions likely to produce the aforementioned failures. She will also speak about the strength and durability of selected materials.

Dodrill recently spoke about new developments in packaging at MD&M West in Anaheim, CA. "Many of today's improvements are driven by specific end-user needs, such as avoiding hospital-acquired infections," she says. Many end-users are stepping up the use of alcohol-based products, for instance, and these are "hard to package because alcohol can act as a surfactant and wick through seals." End-users are also asking for advances in aseptic product presentation in sterile arenas and product visibility through packaging to reduce opening errors, she adds. "Clear barrier materials are of interest, as are some emerging nanocomposite coatings that provide excellent moisture transmission," Dodrill says.

For more details on HealthPack, held March 6-8 in Albuquerque, visit For details on MD&M West, visit

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