Ambulances are vehicles designed primarily to transfer seriously ill or injured persons to medical facilities. Although boats, helicopters, and airplanes are also used for ambulance services, motor vehicles make up most of them. An ambulance’s interior usually accommodates one or more patients and emergency medical staff. It also includes a range of equipment and supplies for maintaining a patient’s condition while in transit.
Ambulances and other emergency vehicles are continually improving to become more dependable, economical, and fuel-efficient. Performance polymers used to construct emergency vehicles help make them lighter, less noisy, and more vibration-free. With numerous plastic manufacturers producing items for ambulances, Piedmont Plastics has in stock an exceptional array of materials made especially for the specialist vehicle market. In collaboration with manufacturers, businesses, engineers, and designers of specialist vehicles, Piedmont Plastics offers a wide range of products to improve the quality and profitability of the ambulance manufacturing sector.
What Are the Different Parts of an Ambulance?
Numerous components are made from various materials involved in manufacturing an ambulance. Some pieces include the cab and chassis of vehicles, air conditioning devices, radios, oxygen system parts, latches, windows, handles, and hinges.
The ambulance body is often made of extruded aluminum, with subfloors constructed from plywood, and the inner walls fit with aluminum and a vinyl coating or laminated plastic.
Industrial-grade vinyl used for the inside flooring allows for simple and effective cleaning. The various compartments for medical devices and supplies are made using shatter-resistant plastic panels. Counters, foldable tables, and wall surfaces include seamless polymer sheet to accommodate issues involving exposure to various bodily fluids.
Interior grab rails and handles are usually made of stainless steel, while other interior components of an ambulance may be made using different types of rubber or plastic.
What Kind of Plastic Is Used For Medical Devices In Ambulances?
Emergency medical care is transforming thanks to medical plastic materials. The market has evolved following an increasing use of polymers in medical devices, with plastic medical devices steadily displacing older materials like glass, ceramics, and metal. Medical grade polymers come in various forms, but they all share specific properties to conform to regulatory requirements.
All plastics are created using synthetic polymer types, and the words “polymer” and “plastic” are frequently used interchangeably. Thermoplastics can be repeatedly heated and reshaped without irreversible degradation sets them apart from other synthetic polymers. Thermoplastics can be reused and recycled because the changes are physical rather than chemical. They liquefy at a high temperature, making them easily moldable, and when they cool, they solidify to form a robust final product. Thermoplastics are often the best choice for custom plastic injection molding and injection blow molding services.
OSHA standards concerning blood-borne and airborne pathogens apply to plastics used in ambulances. Within these standards, ambulance component manufacturers may exploit specific features of plastic materials to provide their products with certain advantages in the marketplace.
To satisfy regulatory standards, medical-grade plastics or polymers must be produced under a doctor’s license. They must provide biocompatibility for specific applications involving patient safety. To withstand the severe wear and repeated sterilization cycles medical plastic items are subject to, the finished product must be temperature, impact, and corrosion resistant.
Here are some medical-grade polymers one would find in medical devices aboard an ambulance.
- Polycarbonates are known for their impact resistance and high-temperature ranges. They’re often used for eyewear lenses, automotive parts, protective gear, and medical devices. Polycarbonates can be formed at room temperature without cracking or breaking because they are heat-resistant, and their properties make them valuable for medical device prototyping.
- Mechanical performance characteristics of polypropylene include durability for the number of cycles it can be reused and resistance to steam sterilization. It’s a cost-effective material, and its ability to be recycled also makes it a desirable medical-grade plastic.
- Thermoplastic polyethylene is a robust and adaptable material with numerous uses. It’s an excellent medical-grade plastic due to its high impact resistance, chemical resistance, and low moisture absorption. In addition, it can withstand abrasive cleaning agents and neither fades nor harbors harmful bacteria. Because it is a porous synthetic polymer that is biologically inert and does not degrade in the body, it is frequently one of the materials used in medical implants.
Building Ambulances With Piedmont Plastics
Piedmont Plastics provides solutions for many types of customized vehicles, including emergency vehicles, food trucks, mobile medical units, enclosed cargo trailers, or modular buildings. Their stock of raw materials performs exceptionally well in various applications, including modesty panels, upholstery, enclosures, and cabinetry.
Contact our materials specialists today to learn more about how Piedmont Plastics can serve your needs.