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Multilayer Tubing Offers Alternative to PVC and Polyurethane Products

Originally Published MPMN April 2002


Multilayer Tubing Offers Alternative to PVC and Polyurethane Products

Zachary Turke

Flexible multilayer tubing coextruded from polyurethane and a special elastomer overcomes some of the limitations associated with existing medical-grade polyurethane tubing. Supplied by Natvar (Clayton, NC;, BioPath tubing is designed to give manufacturers an alternative to devices constructed solely from PVC or polyurethane.

Coextruded from polyurethane and Ecdel elastomer, Natvar's BioPath tubing is compatible with solvent bonding and autoclave sterilization.
"Many of our customers are looking to switch to non-PVC products to eliminate health and disposal concerns," says engineering manager Bob Donohue. "But up to this point, there have been performance and processing issues associated with the alternatives." According to Donohue, BioPath tubing eliminates these concerns.
Eastman's Ecdel elastomer layer

Clear and dimensionally stable, BioPath tubing is constructed using an inner layer of polyurethane and a thin external layer of Ecdel elastomer. Developed by Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, TN; www., this rugged material serves as a protective coating, giving the tubing enough strength to allow solvent bonding and EtO and gamma sterilization. The elastomer also prevents product discoloration and hazing.

BioPath tubing can be extruded in a range of sizes and is customizable to meet specifications. Typical inner diameters span 0.01 to 0.25 in., with variable wall thicknesses to offer different levels of stiffness.

Other product benefits include chemical resistance and compatibility with a range of operating temperatures. Containing no migratory plasticizers, the tubing can be disposed of in landfills or incinerated without producing hazardous by-products.

Copyright ©2002 Medical Product Manufacturing News

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