Halco has been a trusted supplier of medical grade hook and loop materials for many years and, at the request of the industry, has also recently become a supplier of elastic. This, combined with its materials converting capabilities and ability to respond quickly to customers, puts Halco in a leading position to be a major supplier of converted fastening materials to medical product manufacturers, including manufacturers of disposable products like isolation gowns and drapes.
Halco Supplies Specialty Fasteners for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Manufacturers
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging throughout the country, putting ever greater pressure on health care facilities, resources, and suppliers of personal protective equipment. Halco is a responsive, critical supplier to medical and health care manufacturers supplying medical-grade closure and attachment systems for personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers including:
- Protective Suits
- Isolation Gowns
- Medical Drapes
- 3 Ply Masks
- Sneeze Guards
- Face Shields
- Temporary Shelters
In addition to providing its own line of specialty hook and loop materials, Halco is a Select Converter for 3M’s fastening materials and adhesive tape systems and often partners with 3M to provide very specific industry relevant technologies that meet the unique needs of the medical market.
Manufacturers of isolation gowns need soft, conformable materials that adhere well to non-woven and plastic materials. Importantly, the fastening materials used must be soft, thin and conformable so that they are comfortable to use as a closure system in isolation gowns. They must also be compatible with industry sterilization processes, use medical-grade adhesives and avoid the use of natural rubber latex. Ultimately, the isolation gowns that are manufactured must meet AAMI PB70 requirements.
To meet the need for closure systems for isolation gowns, Halco has selected 3M’s 7337 Low Profile Loop Fastener to be mated with 3M’s 7336 Low Profile Hook Fastener. Both of these products are ideally suited to the closure and attachment system needs of disposable isolation gowns and related products, like medical drapes.
Meeting Sterilization Requirements
Isolation gowns must be sterilized during the manufacturing and assembly process before they can be used by first responders and in health care facilities. There are two effective ways to do this. The first method is to expose the gowns in an enclosed chamber to an ethylene oxide gas in combination with steam or CO2. This is known as EtO sterilization. Learn More.
The second method is gamma ray irradiation. In this method, photons from an isotope source (like Cobalt 60) ionize that product and kill any bacteria. Learn More.
Whatever method of sterilization is used, the adhesive system used on the closure and attachment system (i.e., hook and loop), that is used around the neck and cuffs, must be resistant to that method. 3M’s 7337 and 7336 low profile hook and loop products perform to that requirement so that ANSI and AAMI PB70 requirements can be met.
Another important test for these products is that the adhesive used not irritate the skin. In the example of isolation gowns, the adhesive is not used directly on the skin, but it is used near the skin. Medical grade adhesive tapes are tested for cytotoxicity and skin irritation. 3M’s 7336 and 7337 pass both of these tests. Clinical Data Summary – 3M 7336 & 3M 7337.
Halco Provides Speed and Converting Capability
When isolation gowns need to be manufactured, large quantities are needed now – not in one month or two or three. Halco is unique in that it responds very rapidly to the material converting requests of its customers. It maintains a significant inventory in-house and can quickly readjust its production schedule. For isolation gowns and similar disposable medical products, like drapes, very large quantities of small cut pieces of peel ‘n stick hook and loop are needed. Halco has the material converting capacity, specific knowledge of hook and loop converting, and the speed and flexibility to get the job done in a timely manner. To learn more about Halco’s converting capabilities, visit (https://www.halcousa.com/converting-capabilities/).
Halco has the materials, converting capabilities, partnership with 3M, and the speed and flexibility with its customers to get the job done. Do you have a project involving personal protective equipment or medical supplies? Contact one of our sales engineers to find out how we can help!