New Dimensions in Medical Tubing and Cables

Putnam Plastics brings FEP heat-shrink tubing extrusion — minus processing aids — in house, and GlobTek launches a line of PVC cables designed for healthcare environments.

Norbert Sparrow

May 1, 2024

2 Min Read
catheter tubing
Printed catheter tubing from Putnam Plastics.Image courtesy of Putnam Plastics

Frustrated by long lead times for the heat-shrink tubing needed for its catheter production, Putnam Plastics Corp. decided to bring that capability in house. Now, it has added FEP heat-shrink tubing to its portfolio of products for the medical manufacturing supply chain.

Bonding and contamination issues eliminated.

The 40-year veteran of extrusion services for makers of minimally invasive devices said that, unlike some other products in the marketplace, its FEP heat-shrink tubing is manufactured without any processing aids, including silicone oil. “This eliminates potential bonding and contamination issues commonly associated with traditional heat-shrink materials,” explained Putnam Plastics. Its heat shrink also features less than 5% lineal shrinkage, which may be advantageous in terms of tensile values on certain bonded catheter shafts, according to the company.

Four-week lead time for custom heat-shrink.

Putnam Plastics offers quick turnaround times for FEP heat-shrink tubing, facilitated by recent manufacturing upgrades. Lead times for both standard and custom sizes can be as quick as four weeks. Standard wall thicknesses range from 0.006 to 0.020 in. in diameter. For custom sizes, wall thicknesses as low as 0.004 in. can be achieved. Additionally, Putnam’s heat-shrink tubing offers expanded inner diameters up to 0.375 in. and an expansion rate up to 1.7 times the original size.

“As catheter manufacturers ourselves, we were hampered by excessive lead times for custom and standard sizes of heat shrink,” said Bob St. John, senior catheter engineer. “Combining our extrusion capabilities and understanding of catheter assembly, we have developed a product with excellent performance characteristics.”

GlobTek launches medical-grade, phthalate-free PVC cables.

GlobTek’s new medical-grade, phthalate-free PVC cable line is designed to address the growing demand for safer and more environmentally friendly materials in the healthcare industry, said the company in a news release.

Phthalates have been linked to various health and environmental concerns in some studies, prompting the medical industry to seek alternatives. Globtek said its phthalate-free PVC cables address these concerns while offering the same durability, flexibility, and performance as traditional PVC cables.

The new cables are designed to meet the stringent requirements of the medical industry, including biocompatibility, sterilization, and durability. They are compatible with a range of medical devices and equipment.

GlobTek is headquartered in Northvale, NJ, and operates manufacturing, sales, and service facilities in North America, Europe, and China.

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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