ANTI-EROSION RUBBER COVER TO PROTECT A PC HANDLE FROM CHEMICAL AGENT EROSION IN MEDICAL APPLICATION
Publication Date: 2016-Aug-19
The IP.com Prior Art Database
A clinically compatible silicone rubber material or thermoplastic (TP) rubber material for a polycarbonate (PC) handle is disclosed. The silicone rubber covers completely over the PC handle. The silicone rubber cover includes a similar complex profile of the handle by cross section. The silicone rubber cover surfaces with internal grips design like teeth to get more attachment force to avoid slip. Also, the silicone or TP rubber cover has suitable curves and profiles with a considerably high hardness to house electrical switch with appropriate clearance so as to ease switching operation smoothly and to return back to its shape for next operation. The silicone rubber cover is over molded on the PC or polyurethane (PU) handle very tightly without any gaps, thereby, preventing entry of chemicals into PC and PU handle. An embodiment of the invention includes a silicone or thermoplastic (TP) cover design to cover frequent chemical spillage area of the PC handle and electrical switches. The silicone or TP cover design includes end wiping seal profiles and grips to prevent chemical entry and slip off issue. Such a cover is used in covering bottom of the PC handle, which gets impacted chemically faster, than sides and top of the handle.
The present invention relates generally to a polycarbonate (PC) handle used in medical appliances and more particularly to a chemically inert cover for the PC handle.
Generally, a polycarbonate (PC) handle used in X-ray or clinical application is degraded by chemical agent, which damages the handle to reduce useful life of the handle. PC handle is used to move various medical devices built in with user interfaces and electrical buttons. In particular, the PC handle is used in an overhead tube suspension that vertically moves up and down and horizontally towards patient head end and foot end for clinical positioning of X-ray tube over a patient during exams, monitor suspension and monitor trolley.
The PC handle is made up of polycarbonate or polyurethane material, and mounted with electronic user interface and electrical switches. Usually, the PC handle undergoes huge surface damages while use. The damage is caused due to chemical reactions of cleaning chemicals, such as, wipes and cleaning solutions that are used to clean the PC handle. PC handle undergoes crack and surface damages, thereby, creating bruise and cuts over hands of operators and technicians and consequently creating discomfort in operating the PC handle. The chemicals may flow into electrical switches and results in malfunctioning of switch or electrical safety to operators. Chemical degradation results in breakage of handle due to frequent cleaning done over the PC handle. This impacts the operators, technicians and doctors to perform exams and procedures, when required critically for patients and technicians.
Further, the PC handle has multiple complex radii and more profiles, elliptical shape and more contour surfaces with protruding electrical button for OTS operation. A thick rubber cover may not be easy for pressing on such a surface contour of the handle, and a too thinner cover has manufacturing difficulty. Also, rubber cover rotates during actuation or up and down movement of the PC handle.
Conventional techniques employ use of aluminum with polyurethane coating on the PC handle. However, the coating composition is ineffective against cleaning chemicals for the handle. Also, buttons on the handle are still exposed to cleaning chemicals.
Another technique employs applying a varnish over the PC handle. However, the varnish is not proven to be resistant to the cleaning chemicals. Also, the varnish does not stay on the button actuation area for longer time, where in the varnish gets wear and allow the chemical to react again due to clearances.
One other conventional technique employs stainless steel material for covering the PC handle. Such a cover is chemically compatible, however, the cover is expensive and weighs too high and allows major design or setting change in a system in medical equipment. Also, in case an operator or patient gets hi...