Cleaning and coating applications within the medical device sector require specialty fluids which offer a cost-effective, sustainable, long-term solution.

Concerns about the effects of chemicals on human health, safety and the environment have led to restrictions on the use of many kinds of process solvents used by the medical device industry.  3M Novec Engineered Fluids are designed on hydrofluoroether chemistry which means they meet the requirements for an effective solution.

They can be used for a number of applications including:

  • Cleaning of medical devices
  • Lubricant and silicone deposition
  • Tube swelling
  • Coating of Microfluidic channels
  • Surfactants in DNA sequencing
  • Heat transfer fluid for the lyophilisation /freeze drying process

View the Medical Device Industry brochure

Device Cleaning

Infection is the enemy of all medical professionals so it goes without saying that cleaning and bioburden reduction is one of the highest priorities in the industry. For use on medical implants, such as hip joints, that extend our active lives, or the medical tools, equipment and tubing that are used on a daily basis, specialty fluids ensure a spotlessly hygienic safe finish.

Novec fluids are available in “neat” form – for light duty cleaning and as azeotropes or blends of azeotropes, which offer higher solvency for more difficult-to-remove soils. They are also used as rinsing agents in conjunction with low volatility solvating agents. This co-solvent cleaning process is effective for the removal of the most challenging soils, such as heavy oils, greases and waxes.

Many benefits include:

  • Excellent compatibility with sensitive materials such as acrylic and polycarbonate, plastics, elastomers and metals.
  • Better solvency for organic soils
  • Low surface tension, low viscosity and high liquid densities make them ideal for use in vapour degreasing equipment.
  • Fast drying and offers lower drag-out losses than conventional degreasing solvents. No drying equipment needed.
  • Penetration of tight spaces on complex parts which drains off easily.
  • Do not support biological growth
  • Reduces power consumption due to needing less equipment (less footprint) and less energy intensive
  • Dry quickly and spot free
  • Less chance for corrosion and no anti-corrosion additives required

View the White Paper on Cleaning in the MedTech industry.


3M Novec Engineered Fluids can disperse a wide variety of coatings, including silicone, PTFE and heparin. These coatings can be successfully deposited on many different types of surfaces, including metals, plastics and elastomers.  Specific deposition applications include hypodermic needles, surgical and cutting blades, blood bags, filters and PVC tubing. The fluids have low surface tension for uniform coating and evaporate rapidly to potentially speed your drying process.

View the Medical Deposition Bulletin.

Tube Swelling

Novec fluids can be used for various assembly operations where silicone or other elastomers are required to swell and then contract to enable a secure fit on a device. They have many benefits including:

  • Rapid swelling of silicone and other elastomers
  • Recovery to original dimensions on exposure to air or in a drying oven
  • Evaporates quickly, leaving low residues
  • No bioburden issues
  • Low toxicity and favourable environmental properties

View the Tube Swelling Bulletin.


3M Novec Engineered Fluids serve as a carrier oil for droplet-based microfluidics used for biochemical experiments, e.g. Digital Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

Features include:

  • Inert with respect to biological reagents in droplets – fluorescence interference is low
  • Viscosity close to water
  • Less swelling of PDMS channels – maintaining flow properties of the device
  • High solubility for gases – unperturbed cellular respiration

Lyophilisation / Freeze-drying Heat Transfer Fluid

Lyophilisation, or freeze-drying, is a low pressure, low temperature vacuum freeze-drying process widely used in the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and biologics.  Traditionally, materials like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), trichloroethylene (TCE), methylene chloride or silicone oils are used as heat transfer fluids to maintain temperatures in pharmaceutical and chemical processing.

Unfortunately, these “traditional” fluids have a number of limitations. Some are combustible and may be fire hazards. Others are unacceptable because of their high toxicity and potential to harm workers. Still others are restricted in their use due to unfavorable environmental profiles.

Novec heat transfer fluids have excellent heat transfer properties, are non-flammable, have low toxicity, zero ozone depletion potential, short atmospheric lifetimes and low global warming potentials. This makes them very suitable for use in freeze-drying equipment.

View the Case Study for IMA Life for further information.

Contact us for more information >>