At Component Supply, we frequently receive inquiries regarding the sterilization options for our nylon mesh products. Typically, they want to know which methods of sterilization are most effective between autoclave, gamma sterilization, and EtO.
First, can you autoclave nylon mesh? To this question, we say, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” While we have had customers successfully autoclave nylon mesh, many more have attempted this process without success. The autoclave process speeds up the absorption of the water in the polyamide causing the material to either become brittle and break or gummy. The settings and the autoclave itself lead to varying degrees of success, or rather, failure.
Gamma sterilization of nylon 6/6 doesn’t perform well either. From our experience, you will see a decrease in the melting point, causing the material to become brittle, which can result in cracking. Additionally, the fiber surface can become rough, which can affect filtering in some application. These changes also do not happen at the time of sterilization but can continue over time after irradiation.
That brings us to our last sterilization method, which is EtO. To our knowledge, EtO is the best sterilization method for nylon 6/6 because materials sterilized with this method are not exposed to excessive heat, moisture or radiation as seen with other sterilization methods.
For more information about the suitability of nylon mesh for your application, please visit our website or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.