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October 26, 2016

PDI and SABIC Join Forces to Test Medical Device Plastics and to Help Improve Patient Protection from Infection

Leaders in infection prevention and thermoplastic technology conduct stress-cracking study to unravel compatibility issues

Orangeburg, NY – October 12, 2016 – PDI, a leader in infection prevention products and solutions, along with SABIC, a global leader in thermoplastic technology, today announced the results of a joint study on environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR). The collaborative evaluation explored the performance of SABIC’s thermoplastics used for medical device enclosures during repeated exposure to PDI’s Super Sani-Cloth® wipes, one of the leading surface disinfectants widely used in the healthcare environment to help prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).

Medical devices and equipment are regularly subjected to repeated contact with hospital-grade disinfectants, but environmental stress cracking has yet to be explored in-depth. The joint PDI and SABIC study, completed in 2016, provides insights around:

  • Disinfection guidelines and the link to compatibility
  • Major causes of material incompatibility
  • Importance of identifying correct materials for medical device housing and parts
  • Compatibility of SABIC’s portfolio of chemically resistant healthcare materials, including LEXAN EXL (PC) resin, XYLEX (PC/polyester blend) resin and VALOX (PBT) resin
  • Aspects of the application development process, such as polymer morphology, chemical type and concentration, frequency of cleaning and residual stress in molded components
  • The crucial value of collaborative input between multiple industry stakeholders, including material and disinfectant manufacturers, to better understand and solve issues in compatibility

“Preventing HAIs is priority for PDI, and critical to that mission is helping to ensure medical equipment is properly disinfected and maintained.  In order to better understand and address compatibility issues between healthcare devices and surface products, it requires equipment manufacturers, disinfectant manufacturers and healthcare professionals to work together,” said Cheryl Moran, Senior Director of Portfolio Management, PDI Infection Prevention. “Working with industry leaders like SABIC allows us to combine our expertise in disinfectants and the healthcare environment, with their extensive understanding of polymer chemistries, part design and molding considerations. The outcomes of a joint approach can ultimately benefit patients by better protecting them from potential harm caused by damaged or improperly disinfected equipment.”

The testing procedure followed ASTM D543 guidelines, and applied more rigorous compatibility criteria compared to frequently used industry benchmarks. Published by SABIC in its updated and expanded brochure, Resistance + Durability: Chemical Resistance Performance Testing for Healthcare Materials, the study section “Designing for ESCR,” describes why following best practices in injection molding processing and designs can be instrumental in reducing molded-in stress, a key contributor to ESCR performance. 

“If materials are not appropriately chosen for the healthcare environment, frequent application of cleaning chemicals can cause device enclosures to crack prematurely, which can lead to increased  maintenance costs for healthcare providers,” said Cathleen Hess, Healthcare business leader for SABIC “It’s a cost that can and should be avoided. Our work with PDI will help customers make more informed material selection decisions to avoid compatibility issues and ensure the best HAI preventative actions are taken.”

This study builds on PDI’s Compatible by Design program launched earlier this year. The program seeks to ensure medical equipment can be frequently, safely and properly disinfected, using the products widely accepted in the healthcare environment. In addition to its work with SABIC, PDI’s own R&D team has conducted in-house compatibility testing and offers healthcare professionals valuable insights on selecting compatible devices and disinfectants. Stemming from its research to date, PDI offers a quick guide for healthcare professionals to ask equipment manufacturers the right questions when considering the addition of new equipment or assessing the current facility.

Access the complete library of Compatible by Design resources here:


About PDI

PDI offers a broad range of evidence-based, market leading Interventional Care, Environment of Care, and Patient Care solutions, all designed to help reduce preventable infections, control healthcare costs, and ultimately help save lives. It’s all part of PDI’s passion to Be The Difference®, every day.  To learn more, visit



SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We manufacture on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products:  chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals.

We support our customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end markets such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation and clean energy.

SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 18.77 billion (US$ 5 billion) in 2015. Sales revenues for 2015 totalled SR 148.09 billion (US$ 39.49 billion). Total assets stood at SR 328.22 billion (US$ 87.53 billion) at the end of 2015.

SABIC has more than 40,000 employees worldwide and operates in more than 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, we have 10,960 global patent filings, and have significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South East Asia and North East Asia.

The Saudi Arabian government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent publicly traded on the Saudi stock exchange.

At SABIC, we combine a rich track record of doing what others said couldn’t be done with a deep understanding of our customers. But our true impact is as a collaborative partner who can help our customers achieve their ambitions by finding solutions to their challenges. We call this ‘Chemistry that matters’.

Sani-Cloth® and Compatible by Design are trademarks of PDI.
SABIC, LEXAN, XYLEX and VALOX are trademarks of SABIC.