SMTL Dressings Datacard

Product Name: Scotchcast Softcast
Classification Name: Bandage Orthopaedic Resin
Manufacturer: 3M Healthcare Ltd


Scotchcast Softcast consists of a knitted fibreglass substrate impregnated with a polyurethane resin containing a surface-modifying agent. This is included to reduce tack and facilitate application. The base fabric used in Scotchcast Softcast extensible in all directions, which makes the bandage very conformable in use. When Scotchcast Softcast, is exposed to moisture vapour or immersed in water, the resin undergoes a polymerisation reaction, which causes the tape to harden and become semi-rigid. A cast made from Scotchcast Softcast will set in approximately 3-5 minutes, and gain full strength some 20 minutes after setting. The resulting cast is lightweight, semi-rigid, porous, X-ray translucent and has soft edges.


Scotchcast Softcast may be used in most situations where rigid immobilisation is required. These include the formation of standard soft tissue injury supports, orthopaedic casts, specialised prosthetic appliances and serial splinting.


Unlike other polyurethane casting tapes, Scotchcast Softcast, may be applied to fresh fractures where swelling of the injured limb may be anticipated as rapid removal of the cast is easily achieved.

Method of use

Scotchcast Softcast, should be applied over two layers of stockinette only. A synthetic polyester fabric is preferred as this does not retain moisture, and allows air to circulate freely should the cast become wet. Prior to application, the bandage should be immersed in water at 21-23 C, and squeezed one or two times under the surface to ensure complete penetration of water into the body of the bandage. If a slower setting time is required, the bandage should be immersed in water for a couple of seconds only or applied dry and wetted with wet gloves to activate.

The tape should be applied in the form of a spiral, each turn overlapping the previous one by about one-third to one-half of the width of the tape. Scotchcast Softcast will give semi-rigid or rigid support depending upon the amount of material used. For example, 3 layers will provide semi-rigid support longitudinally and circumferentially but 6 layers will be required to provide rigid support for non-weight bearing casts.

For weight bearing cast additional layers are required. Alternatively, the cast may be reinforced with Scotchcast Plus. The cast may be moulded during the last 30 seconds of its setting time and it may be windowed with a cast saw or trimmed with scissors. Scotchcast Softcast can be used to totally immobilise a severe tissue injury initially (over the healing period layers of the cast can be removed at intervals to allow increased movement with reduced support) or to immobilise fractures allowing micro-movement at the fracture site if required.


Prior to setting, the polyurethane resin will adhere firmly to unprotected skin and clothing. Operators should always wear gloves when handling Scotchcast Softcast and care should be taken to ensure that the uncured tape does not come into contact with the patient's skin. Once set, the cast is not adversely affected by moisture, but immersion of the cast in water is not recommended, as it may prove very difficult to dry the underlying fabric. This in turn may lead to maceration and irritation of the skin.

Scotchcast Softcast may be removed using conventional removal equipment, however, unwrapping or removal with scissors is often preferred.


Scotchcast Softcast, is available in the form of a roll, wrapped around a hollow core, and heat-sealed in a poly/foil/poly laminate pouch.


Unopened rolls of casting tape should be stored in a cool dry atmosphere below 24 C. Above this temperature, the shelf life will be decreased.


1 in 2 yd

3 in 4 yd

4 in 4 yd

5 in 4 yd

Revision Details

Revision AuthorDr S. Thomas
Revision No 1.3
Revision date1997/12/16

This datacard has been prepared from data provided by the manufacturer and/or from published literature.

All materials copyright © 1992-2007 by the Surgical Materials Testing Lab. unless otherwise stated.

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Last Modified: Thursday, 28-Mar-2002 10:22:57 GMT