The Effect of Sterilization on Plastics and Elastomers

The Effect of Sterilization on Plastics and Elastomers, 3rd Edition

The Effect of Sterilization on Plastics and Elastomers, 3rd Edition,Laurence McKeen,ISBN9781455725984


William Andrew




276 X 216

Essential data and best practice guidance for engineers and product designers working in the plastics industry, and industry sectors that utilize plastics in sterile environments, such as packaging (food, pharmaceuticals, healthcare products, etc.), medical devices, chemical processing, agriculture and defense.

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Key Features

  • Essential data and practical guidance for engineers and scientists working with plastics in applications that require sterile packaging and equipment.
  • 3rd edition includes new introductory chapters on sterilization processes and polymer chemistry, providing the underpinning knowledge required to utilize the data.
  • Provides essential information and guidance for FDA submissions required for new Medical Devices.


This reference guide brings together a wide range of essential data on the sterilization of plastics and elastomers, enabling engineers to make optimal material choices and design decisions. The data tables in this book enable engineers and scientists to select the right materials, and right sterilization method for a given product or application.

The third edition includes new text chapters that provide the underpinning knowledge required to make best use of the data. Larry McKeen has also added detailed descriptions of sterilization methods for most common polymer classes such as polyolefins, polyamides, polyesters, elastomers, fluoropolymers, biodegradable plastics. Data has been updated throughout, with expanded information on newer classes of polymer utilized in medical devices and sterile packaging, such as UHMWPE, high temperature plastics (PEEK, PES, PPS, etc.), PBT, PETG, etc. The resulting Handbook is an essential reference for Plastics Engineers, Materials Scientists and Chemists working in contexts where sterilization is required, such as food packaging, pharmaceutical packaging and medical devices.


Plastics engineers, product designers, packaging engineers and materials scientists.

Medical device and packaging designers and users; polymer and coatings chemists; producers and users of sterile packaging products and medical devices.

Sectors: food, beverage and pharmaceutical packaging; medical devices; chemical processing; agriculture; defense.

Laurence McKeen

Larry McKeen has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and worked for DuPont Fluoroproducts from 1978-2014. As a Senior Research Associate Chemist he was responsible for new product development including application technology and product optimization for particular end-uses, and product testing. He retired from DuPont at the end of 2014 and is currently a consultant.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Research Associate, DuPont, Wilmington, DE, USA

View additional works by Laurence W. McKeen

The Effect of Sterilization on Plastics and Elastomers, 3rd Edition

PDL Handbook Series


1. Introduction to Food Irradiation and Medical Sterilization

1.1 Pathogens

1.2 Food-Borne Disease Control

1.3 Medical Sterilization

1.4 Bioterrorism

1.5 Summary


2. Introduction to Plastics and Polymers

2.1 Polymerization

2.2 Copolymers

2.3 Linear, Branched, and Cross-Linked Polymers

2.4 Polarity

2.5 Unsaturation

2.6 Steric Hindrance

2.7 Isomers

2.8 Inter- and Intramolecular Attractions in Polymers

2.9 General Classifications

2.10 Plastic Compositions

2.11 Summary


3. Introduction to the Physical, Mechanical, and Thermal Properties of Plastics and Elastomers

3.1 Physical Property Testing

3.2 Mechanical Testing of Plastics

3.3 Thermal Property Testing of Plastics


4. Styrenic Plastics

4.1 Acrylonitrile–Butadiene–Styrene Copolymer

4.2 Methacrylate–Acrylonitrile–Butadiene–Styrene Copolymer

4.3 Polystyrene

4.4 SAN Copolymer

4.5 Styrene–Butadiene Copolymers


5. Polyesters

5.1 Liquid Crystalline Polymers

5.2 Polybutylene Terephthalate

5.3 Polycarbonate

5.4 Polyethylene Terephthalate

5.5 Polycyclohexylene-Dimethylene Terephthalate

5.6 Copolyesters

5.7 Polyethylene Naphthalate

5.8 Polyphthalate Carbonate


6. Polyimides

6.1 Polyamide-Imide

6.2 Polyetherimide

6.3 Polyimide


7. Polyamides (Nylons)

7.1 Polyamide 6 (Nylon 6)

7.2 Polyamide 11 (Nylon 11)

7.3 Polyamide 12 (Nylon 12)

7.4 Polyamide 66 (Nylon 66)

7.5 Polyarylamide

7.6 Copolymers/Terpolymers


8. Polyolefins

8.1 Polyethylene

8.2 Polypropylene

8.3 Poly-4-Methyl-1-Pentene

8.4 Cyclic Olefin Copolymer

8.5 Plastomer


9. Polyvinyls and Acrylics

9.1 Ethylene–Vinyl Acetate Copolymer

9.2 Ethylene–Vinyl Alcohol Copolymer

9.3 Polyvinyl Chloride

9.4 Polyvinylidene Chloride

9.5 Polyacrylics

9.6 Acrylonitrile–Methyl Acrylate Copolymer

9.7 Ionomers


10. Fluoropolymers

10.1 Polytetrafluoroethylene

10.2 Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene

10.3 Perfluoroalkoxy

10.4 Amorphous Fluoropolymer – Teflon AF®

10.5 Polyvinyl Fluoride

10.6 Polychlorotrifluoroethylene

10.7 Polyvinylidene Fluoride

10.8 Ethylene–Tetrafluoroethylene Copolymer

10.9 Ethylene–Chlorotrifluoroethylene Copolymer


11. High-Temperature/High-Performance Polymers

11.1 Polyether Ether Ketone

11.2 Polyaryletherketone

11.3 Polyphenylene Sulfide

11.4 Polysulfone

11.5 Polyphenylsulfone

11.6 Polyethersulfone

11.7 Parylene (Poly(p-Xylylene))

11.8 Polyoxymethylene (Acetal Homopolymer)/Polyoxymethylene Copolymer (Acetal Copolymer)

11.9 Self-Reinforced Polymers


12. Renewable Resource and Biodegradable Polymers

12.1 Polyanhydrides

12.2 Cellophane™

12.3 Nitrocellulose

12.4 Ethyl Cellulose (Hydroxyethylcellulose)

12.5 Polycaprolactone

12.6 Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) and Poly L-Lactic Acid (PLLA)

12.7 Poly-3-Hydroxybutyrate

12.8 Polyglycolic Acid


13. Elastomers

13.1 Thermoplastic Polyether Block Polyamide Elastomers (TPA-ET or PEBA)

13.2 Thermoplastic Copolyester Elastomers (TPC-E or COPE)

13.3 Olefinic Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPO)

13.4 Styrenic Block Copolymer Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPS)

13.5 Thermoplastic Polyurethane Elastomers (TPU)

13.6 Polysiloxane/Silicone Rubber



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