blue medical tape with wash soluble adhesive

Wash soluble hot melt adhesive for medical tape

A unique wash soluble hot melt adhesive is designed to serve the needs of sustainable, reusable drapes widely used in surgical operations. As more and more hospitals rely on reusable drapes instead of disposable alternatives, the application and washing processes must be as efficient as possible. Therefore, a 100% wash soluble hot melt adhesive has been developed: the adhesive enables medical tapes which adhere to both skin and textile, are easy to apply and remove as well as allow for maximum efficiency.

The medical tape that uses wash soluble adhesives is suitable for applications between surgical drapes and the patient’s skin. The tape ensures that the drapes stay in place and helps create and maintain a sterile and hygienic environment during surgical operations.

Why opt for a wash soluble hot melt adhesive?

The wash soluble hot melt adhesive is an acrylic pressure and temperature sensitive system which adheres well to skin and textile. Ideal for use in medical environments, the adhesive is also biocompatible. Other beneficial characteristics include:

  • Water and solvent free: as a hot melt adhesive, the wash soluble adhesive does not contain any water or solvents. In room temperature it appears solid but becomes liquidized when the temperature rises.
  • Steam sterilization: the wash soluble adhesive is not affected by steam sterilization although the heat does promote adhesion due to the temperature sensitive nature of the self adhesive material. The adhesive reaches its ultimate strength on the textile side after steam sterilization.
  • Resistant to body fluids: even though the adhesive is wash soluble, it is not water soluble, meaning that water and body fluids do not affect it during surgeries.
  • 100% wash soluble: after the surgery, the reusable drapes are prepared for washing. Normally, the preparation would include removing medical tape and adhesive residue, however, with wash soluble adhesive this is not necessary. The drapes can be washed with the tape and the tape completely dissolves during the wash.

Even though the wash soluble hot melt adhesive is designed for use on medical tape, its unique properties can be useful also in other applications, for example in the textile industry. The innovative uses of the adhesive could include for instance temporary textile glue, adhesive for modelling and reusable fabrics as well as wash soluble glue for clothing design. Contact us in case you are interested in the further possibilities of the wash soluble adhesive or if you would like to know whether wash soluble is the solution for your adhesive needs.

How wash soluble medical tape works

The wash soluble adhesive is commonly a part of a medical tape system. These are often double sided and they consist of a carrier which is coated with the adhesive on both sides and a liner which can be removed prior to bonding. Medical tape is available with various dimensions and they can be customized by adding a print on the carrier.

The tapes are mainly applied for two reasons:

  1. To bond drapes to skin in order to keep the drapes in place during surgery.
  2. To create and maintain a sterile and hygienic operating environment.

Often, the medical tape is applied to drapes before they are supplied to the hospitals or other clinics. The drapes should be steam sterilized before use in operation theaters in order to guarantee sterility and allow the adhesive to reach its ultimate strength. Once sterilized, the drapes can be placed on the patient and the tape liners can be removed so that the tape can adhere to the skin.

After the surgery the drapes can be washed without removing the tape. The 100% wash soluble adhesive dissolves during the washing process without leaving a trace in the drapes or the washing machine. Also the carrier dissolves when washed.

Relevant certification of medical tapes

As the medical industry is strictly regulated by standards and tests by various parties, it is crucial to be aware of some when looking for medical tape. For example CE marking according to the EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR) 2017/745, is important to look at. Furthermore, one should opt for products from manufacturers that have been certified according to ISO 13485 which demonstrates the organization´s ability to produce approved medical devices and related products and services.

Additionally, when looking at the adhesive several international standards are applicable. The adhesive should be tested for example for cytotoxicity, skin irritation and skin sensitization which are included in ISO 10993-5 and ISO 10993-10.

Interested in wash soluble adhesive or tape?

As wash solvability is a rather new characteristic among adhesives, you want to make sure to have it supplied by a reliable source. In case you are looking for wash soluble hot melt adhesive or wash soluble medical tape, contact us. We are happy to connect you with an adhesive specialist with a proven track record of wash soluble bonds.


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