October 8, 2009

5 Min Read
Tubing and Tube Processing

Originally Published MPMN October 2009


Tubing and Tube Processing

Kink-resistant tubing


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A contract manufacturer traditionally produces kink-resistant tubing using a three-step process that consists of placing a nonsilicone spiral wrap around a tubing product so that liquids flow continually through it. The company maintains, however, that it has reduced this process to two steps by extruding the inner core and then applying a reinforcing agent that is simultaneously secured in place with a silicone overcoat. In addition to reducing costs, this improvement employs a cleaner manufacturing process and results in enhanced kink-resistant properties, according to the service provider. The company has also expanded its capabilities for in-process extrusion of multilumen, multiwire lead tubing used for complex electrode applications. Although the company has provided this service as part of its silicone extrusion service offerings, it can now accommodate thermoplastics as well.
Vesta Inc.
Franklin, WI

DEHP-free tubing
ub9b_70574.jpgFlexible, medical-grade PVC tubing is available in either phthalate- or DEHP-free versions. Offered in response to industrywide restrictions on certain plasticizers, a supplier’s NP80 tubing incorporates FDA-approved ingredients and contains fewer than 1000 parts per million total phthalate content. Additionally, the company’s GS70 and GS80 tubing products do not include DEHP and are sterilizable using such techniques as EtO, autoclave, or gamma radiation. Medical applications include negative-pressure wound drains, insufflation tubing, protective coverings, suction products, and oxygen and drain lines.
Grayline Inc.
Waukesha, WI

Polyimide tubing
uba2_70570.jpgOptimized for critical and minimally invasive applications, custom polyimide tubing is suitable for use in cardiovascular and urological catheters, stent deployment, and drug-delivery systems. Braid-reinforced designs are offered for enhanced flexibility, torque, and column strength. Ultrathin PTFE liners are also available in order to reduce surface friction. The ISO 9001:2000–certified company provides thermoplastic jackets, multidurometer designs, flexible tips, subassembly, and custom laser machining as well. Inner diameters ranging from 0.004 to 0.083 in. with a variety of wall profiles can be achieved.
MicroLumen Inc.
Tampa, FL

Platinum-cured silicone tubing
ubab_70573.jpgPlatinum-cured silicone tubing is custom fabricated by a company specializing in silicone molding and extrusion. Smooth surface, resistance to mechanical stress, and chemical compatibility are characteristics of the silicone tubing. Capabilities encompass precision cutting to specified lengths, bonding to thermoplastics, and manufacturing barium-filled tubing. Stock products in a range of standard sizes are also available. Potential medical applications include CPR barrier devices, breathing masks for sleep therapy, and catheters.
Allness Silicone Co.
Guelph, ON, Canada

PVC extrusion
ubb9_70878.jpgMedical tubing and tube-set assembly services are provided by an ISO 13485– and FDA-registered contract manufacturer. Specializing in PVC, the company can extrude and process a variety of products that include extension sets, catheters, and infusion-pump devices. Standard tubing, thermal-bonded paratubing, single- and multilumen tubing, and bubble tubing are available in cut lengths, coils, or hubless coils. Downstream extrusion services such as tip forming, eye punching, assembly, packaging, and sterilization services are also offered. Along with its U.S.-based facility, the company operates a manufacturing plant in Nicaragua that adheres to the same quality systems as its domestic plant.
Command Medical Products Inc.
Ormond Beach, FL

Expanded PTFE tubing

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Supplied with inner diameters ranging from 0.62 to 0.40 in., a company’s line of expanded PTFE (ePTFE) tubing is biocompatible, chemically inert, nontoxic, nonaging, and autoclavable. Fabric-like in nature, the microporous ePTFE tubing enables cells to attach or escape from the tube, depending on the requirements of the application. Furthermore, it can be manufactured with the pores close enough to allow for fluid transfer without leakage. When used in wound-care applications, TexPore is designed to promote cell growth and attachment to the micropores on the tube wall to facilitate healing. It is also suitable for tissue sampling, drug dispensing, and gas or liquid separation.
Ft. Worth, TXwww.texloc.com

Custom-extruded tubing

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Production of custom tubing assemblies and custom-extruded tubing can be performed in a company’s Class 100,000 cleanroom. Multilumen, tapered, oval, and other custom shapes can be extruded from a variety of materials that includes PEEK, PEEK-Classix, PEEK-Optima, Teflon, ETFE, Radel R, Ultem, polyethylene, and other high-performance thermoplastics. Tubes are provided with inner diameters and walls ranging from 50 µm to 6.4 mm; outer diameters from 360 µm to 7.9 mm can be achieved. Fixed-length cutting, printing, tip forming, and other finishing services are also available.
Idex Health & Science
Oak Harbor, WAwww.idex-hs.com
Stock PVC tubing

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Available from stock in more than 50 sizes, a company’s line of PVC tubing is supplied with inner diameters from 1⁄16 up to 4 in. Product features of Clearflo tubing include abrasion resistance, light weight, glass-like clarity, and a flexibility akin to rubber, according to the manufacturer. Able to withstand temperatures ranging from –41° to 175°F, it is resistant to a multitude of chemicals, gases, acids, and corrosives. Manufactured from nontoxic ingredients, the tubing is suitable for medical applications and is compliant with USP Class VI requirements. The tubing can undergo autoclave sterilization.
NewAge Industries Inc.
Southampton, PAwww.newageindustries.com

For more features and information on medical tubing, go to www.devicelink.com/mpmn/tubing.
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