Cleaning Stressed Polycarbonate

Q. How should I clean stressed polycarbonate in our medical device cleaning application?

A. If feasible, reduce exposure by using unstressed polycarbonate instead of stressed polycarbonate. Obviously, this option may simply not be available.

Stressed polycarbonate can get stress cracking, crazing or fogging in the presence of any low surface tension solution with time and heat. Cleaners, for the most part, are low surface tension solutions. To clean stressed polycarbonate you can attempt to use minimum concentrations, temperatures and contact times of the mildest cleaners. Going with a high surface tension, no surfactant containing surface cleaner such as Detojet™ Low Foaming Liquid Detergent would likely be safest for the substrate and most effective when used with proper PPE.

Polycarbonate or other plastics that are unstressed, as most general plastic labware and medical device components are, will not have this problem and can be cleaned with Alconox® Powdered Precision Cleaner, Liquinox™ Critical Cleaning Liquid Detergent or other manual, high foaming, low surface tension cleaners.

For additional technical information on cleaning validation, please Download our Medical Device Cleaning Validation References PDF. If you have further questions for our experts about critical cleaning, please visit Ask Alconox.

To test any Alconox, Inc. detergent for free, please complete the questionnaire at Get Sample.

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