A New Dimension in Peelable Heat-Shrink Tubing for Catheter Manufacturers

Junkosha, a pioneer of fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) Peelable Heat-Shrink Tubing, debuted its newest product line at MD&M West 2024.

Norbert Sparrow

February 15, 2024

2 Min Read
Caroline Herdman of Junkosha demos peelable heat-shrink tubing
Image courtesy of Norbert Sparrow

Materials specialist and pioneer of fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) Peelable Heat-Shrink Tubing (PHST), Junkosha unveiled its latest catheter-based innovation at Medical Design and Manufacturing (MD&M) West in Anaheim, CA, last week. The 1.8:1 shrink ratio translucent PHST solution offers catheter manufacturers enhanced versatility to complete intricate bonding and welding applications, resulting in improved overall efficiencies, said Junkosha. 

Junkosha’s newest PHST product is suited for the manufacture of interventional medical devices such as micro-catheters. A key advantage is the simplified removal of the recovered FEP heat shrink from the outer shaft, which is often the most laborious and critical part of the manufacturing process.

Typically, the heat-shrink material is removed by a process called skiving. “A skive tool contains a razor blade and it can be difficult to set up to the right depth so that it removes enough of the material to allow you to peel it without going too deep or too shallow,” explained Chief Operating Officer Mike Winterling from the Junkosha booth. “You can run into yield issues because you can damage the product and it’s pretty expensive at that point since it’s been through the whole production process. We invented peelable heat shrink for this application, which requires just two slits to remove the material.” Global Product Specialist Caroline Herdman shows just how easily it splits apart in the video below.

Skiving techniques often fail to work on smaller reflowed catheters, causing the catheter to be damaged and rendered useless, according to Junkosha. The company’s 1.8:1 translucent PHST, which it showcased at MD&M West, also allows for complex shapes and constructs to be added to the catheter, simplifying the manufacturing process and increasing efficiency. This leads to a more streamlined and cost-effective production of intricate catheter builds, according to the company.

The PHST products significantly reduce both the time required to remove the heat-shrink material and also the chance of damaging the underlying catheter, added Herdman. “It also reduces total cost of ownership for catheter manufacturers, by helping them to produce the final product quickly, which results in improved yields and lower inspection levels,” said Herdman.

Junkosha has three operations in Japan, including its headquarters, as well as sites in the US, UK, and China. The company provides tube and fitting products, including generic resin tubes, fluoropolymer tubes, high-barrier tubes, flexible multi-layered tubes, industrial hoses, degassing modules, heat-shrinkable tubes, as well as its market-leading peelable heat-shrink tubes. It also manufactures an array of wire and cable products.

About the Author(s)

Norbert Sparrow

Editor in chief of PlasticsToday since 2015, Norbert Sparrow has more than 20 years of editorial experience in business-to-business media. He studied journalism at the Centre Universitaire d'Etudes du Journalisme in Strasbourg, France, where he earned a master's degree. Reach him at [email protected].


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