Posts Tagged ‘plastic tubing’

No sun block necessary for thermoplastic tubing

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Typically speaking, U.V. light and ozone have been known to cause health damage to humans, but what are its effects on thermoplastic tubing?

Depending on the length of time thermo plastic tubing is utilized in certain applications—whether it’s exposed to ozone or to UV light—will determine which polymer is used to manufacture the thermoplastic extruded tubing. Taking material selection into consideration, and then adding a UV stabilizer, for example, lowers the risk that excessive exposure to potentially harmful environmental conditions cause that may compromise the performance characteristics of the thermoplastic tube. Several thermoplastic extrusion materials include polycarbonate, polyurethane, polypropylene, as well as custom compounds.

The importance of thermoplastic extruded tubing being able to withstand UV damage means different things to different people depending on the industry.

For those in the medical industry, some active agents in certain drugs will degrade when exposed to UV light. Therefore, it’s critical that the thermoplastic rod be UV resistant, such as that of thermoplastic polycarbonate that will block harmful rays from damaging the effectiveness of medications.

If the thermoplastic tubing will be subjected to outdoor applications, then custom tubing manufacturers may recommend the use of either thermoplastic polyethylene tubing or thermoplastic polypropylene tubing. As this type of exposure accelerates the deterioration rate of certain chemical properties that thermoplastic tubing is comprised of. Both will deliver reliable performance against environment stress cracking, which could cause leakage of fuels and oils.

As demonstrated, damage caused to thermoplastic tubing by long exposure of either the ozone or UV light has negative effects to be avoided. So before you select your thermoplastic tubing, consult with your custom tubing manufacturer.

Plastic Tubing … A Clear Choice

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Flexible. Tough. Resistant.  Environmentally-Friendly. And recognized by nearly every industry in the world, clear plastic tubing has been a product of choice by worldwide manufacturing companies to small businesses to pet owners.
So what makes a seemingly simple product like clear plastic tubing so desirable to such a diverse audience?

-  First, whatever the industry or the application, the choice to use clear plastic tubing to perform various functions—from flow lines to transport liquids to using it for air supply on 200-gallon fish tank—PVC clear tubing (how it’s also known) consistently delivers reliable performance time and again.

-Second, clear plastic tubing is available in a wide range of sizes, thicknesses, and lengths that makes it easier to adapt to the need.

-Third, the properties of clear plastic tube make it more durable than most alloys for certain applications, and as a result clear plastic tubes can also be more cost-effective, as well as a “green” choice.  By using such a long-lasting product like clear (transparent) plastic tubing, companies are essentially decreasing their expenses as a result of not needing to replace the polyethylene (plastic) clear tubing as frequently on their equipment due to its strength and resistance to wear and tear. And also, it reduces their yearly waste disposal that essentially eases the negative effects on landfills and the environment.

After all, in today’s new business economy, what company isn’t trying to reduce expenses and their carbon footprint?

And to think, it’s all possible because of clear plastic tubing.

Polypropylene tubing vs. Steel tubes in solar heating systems…and the job goes to?

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Curiosity may have killed the cat! But curiosity about the benefits of polypropylene tubing used in solar heaters is a different story altogether. This is particularly true whether you’re a design engineer responsible for making decisions concerning the tubing material for solar heating equipment, or a homeowner deciding to install a solar heating system.

Here’s why.

While polypropylene tubing may be used in a number of applications, its potential use in solar water heaters spawned scientific interest.  A recent study reported on its experimentation of testing whether polypropylene tubing would perform better than steel tubes in the heat transfer rates.   It was concluded that polypropylene tubes would in fact be the ideal choice, over steel tubes, as the polypropylene rod increased the rate of heat transfer by 10 degrees Celsius.

Based on these results, one could conclude that design engineers may specify polypropylene rod in the design of solar heating systems; passing those benefits on to the end user, in this case, the homeowner. As not only is installing a solar heating system with polypropylene tubing suggested to be environmentally beneficial, it also offers a cost-savings benefit in two distinct ways: First, users will save on energy costs by using solar heating, and second, they can also take advantage of a federal tax credit offered to taxpayers for installing energy efficient systems.

Of course, this is simply a cursory view of the benefits of polypropylene tubing.  But it may just be your link to your finding a custom tubing manufacturing source that will serve your polypropylene tube needs — whether for a solar heating system or any other application deemed appropriate.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are good for business

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Regulating agencies such as the FDA, USDA, or NSF institutes compliance procedures during the production of any product that will have human contact or be ingested—and that includes polyurethane tubing, which is used both in industrial applications, as well as in medical devices to name only a few.

The ability for the polyurethane tubing to perform in compliance with these agencies is critical.  And depending upon the application use of polyurethane tubes, it will determine under which regulating agency the manufacturer must comply.

Regulatory compliance encompasses the following agencies in relation to manufacturing polyurethane tubing:

  • FDA – requires that the polyurethane tube be manufactured in compliance with GMPs that ensure it’s free of impurities and safe for human or animal use; which essentially means that they want to ensure that potentially volatile chemicals do not migrate from the polyurethane rod to the drug or medicine.
  • USDA regulates – requires that polyurethane tubing be manufactured to assure food safety, protect natural resources, etc.  Similar to the FDA, it wants to ensure that the polyurethane tube does not contaminate the food or liquids that pass through it, but also that it be perform reliably to protect environmental surroundings and the public against exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals.
  • NSF regulates – (similar to the UL) it requires that any application for which clear polyurethane tubing is used is safe for food, water, and consumer goods.  In addition to customer protection, it also provides businesses with risk management solutions during the production of polyurethane tubing.

No one likes governmental intrusion, but when it ensures the safety of the public, in particular in the manufacturing of polyurethane tubing, then its regulations are quite justifiable.

How “clean” is a Class 10,000 Clean Room?

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

People may not realize how important it is for a custom manufacturer of medical tubing to manufacture the medical grade tubes in a class 10,000 Clean Room, unless you work in the medical industry.

But the fact that medical grade tubing undergoes its production process in a clean room ensures that the patient will only be treated with high quality, sterile equipment.

So what exactly is a “Class 10,000 Clean Room and why is it important in the manufacturing of medical grade tubing?

For starters, by definition, its rating is derived from an evaluation of there being “no more than 10,000 particles larger than 0.5 microns in any given cubic foot of air.”

If that sounds confusing, think of it like this—the manufacturing environment to produce medical grade tubes is an area where the air quality, temperature, and humidity are highly regulated in order to protect sensitive equipment from contamination.  This is accomplished by sophisticated air filtering systems that removes dust particles and other impurities that may negatively impact the quality of the medical grade tubing.

And not only is the room’s environment conditions perfectly balanced to ensure the successful production of the medical grade tube, those who work in the clean room are also held to clean room standards.

During the manufacturing process, the environment and the medical grade tubing is protected against human contamination such as lint particles from clothing, and skin and hair particles that could jeopardize the quality of the medical grade tubes. As such, all personnel must wear special protective clothing.

While the process to manufacture medical grade tubes may sound overly-cautious, it’s because of this level of strict adherence to GMPs (good manufacturing practices) that manufacturing medical grade tubing can deliver such safe reliability to the medical industry.

Sure it’s strong, but will it melt?

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

With dual wall tubing —what you see on the outside is not all that you get. Flexible. Moisture proof. Heat-shrinkable. What more could ask of dual wall tubing? While the outer jacket is comprised of an abrasion resistance material necessary for strength and durability, its inner chamber is made of a compound that protects against environmental conditions like water, moisture and corrosion.

What you may not realize is that its tensile strength is suitable for use for auto wires, shipping cables, and bundle wires. Yet dual wall tubing is constructed of a meltable adhesive liner that will permit it to heat shrink which helps to form a protective barrier over the wiring protecting it from chemicals and oils. This symbiotic relationship of dual wall tubing is necessary to ensure both layers maintain its properties.

While many other tubing’s performance is compromised by extreme weather fluctuations, flexing or by severe vibration, dual wall tubing can absorb the strain like a pro.

Are you considering dual wall tubing for marine and wire splices? It’s the best alternative to heavy wall tubing. And taking into consideration the constant exposure to water and moisture in this particular application, dual wall tubing will provide protection.

Perhaps dual wall tubing is need for shipping cables? Its corrosion resistance properties make it an ideal choice. Regardless of the application for which it is being used, dual wall tubing is constructed to deliver optimum performance.

C-Flex™, Texin™, and Pebax™ ,..more than just a plastic

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Thermoplastics—a polymer so powerful that not only do they sustain the business of the custom plastic manufacturing industry, but it also sustains the lives of people.

This highly desirable material allows customer plastic manufacturing companies to produce custom plastic tubing in a wide variety of compounds and configurations like custom plastic striped tubing with Radiopaques material suited to allow for visibility under fluoroscopic examinations, or multi-colored plastic tubing used to enhance maintenance traceability.

But why is that important that there are numerous thermoplastics for product engineers to choose from when developing their products? More often times than not to make custom plastic tubing in one of the available thermoplastics on the market have been a matter of life or death. For people who suffer from sleep apnea, custom plastic tubing made from C-Flex used in oxygen therapy better facilitates their respiratory flow.

For those in the medical profession, they rely upon the puncture-resistant and flexible properties of Texin for custom plastic tubing used for catheters. And because of the increasing advancements in medical devices, a thermoplastic, such as Pebax is gaining popularity in that market place. This compound is used to make custom plastic tubing used in non-invasive surgical devices that has also allowed for advances in surgical technology.

With a keen eye toward the future, experienced custom plastic manufacturing facilities are working with their customers to continually make improvements in the design of their custom plastic tubing.  Whether it’s to manufacture flexible plastic tubing for electronic equipment or minimizing the tolerances of a custom plastic product needed for a medical device—by working together the innovative results are making the custom plastic tubing industry a market to watch.

The smaller [the medical catheter tubing] the better …

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

In the case of medical catheter tubing, size does matter. And it is during medical procedures that utilize catheter tubes that medical catheter tubing be manufactured to the smallest diameter possible.

The manufacturing of catheter tubes is a sensitive procedure as optimizing its performance is ever so critical. The purposes for which medical catheter tubes are utilized are essentially a matter of life and (hopefully not) death.
Medical catheter tubes are designed so that it allows for some of the following performance criteria:

Ease of Use – Catheter tubing has to withstand the pressure of it being inserted into a patient and withdrawn without difficulty.

Kink Resistance – Often times because of the required length of medical catheter tubes, it’s imperative that it maintain its rigidity and flexibility so that a catheter tube can be manipulated in complex procedures.

Pressure resistance – Much along the ideas noted above, because medical catheter tubes are small in diameter, it also must maintain its properties to continue performing reliably under any conditions to which the catheter tube is exposed.

Most importantly, it’s exact position adjustability of medical catheter tubing that medical professionals rely upon. Catheter tubes need to be designed to allow for accuracy during the insertion process, whether it’s being inserted into a blood vessel, cavity, or any part of the body. It must allow for a smooth and uncompromised flow of fluids, such as an IV, or permit for the easy removal of a blood clot.

Despite the small diameter of medical catheter tubing it functions as one of the most resilient tubes manufactured by custom tubing manufacturers.

Urethane Tubing Revealed

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

What is so unique about urethane tubing that makes it sought after by such diverse industries over other conventional thermoplastics?

Is it because urethane tubing can be safely used for food handling?

Perhaps its urethane tubing’s recovery properties, similar to that of rubber, that make it a top choice?

Or is it due to the fact that urethane tubing can be custom manufactured in a range of hardness?

Since 1950 when urethane was first introduced, it has become a replacement for plastics, and in many cases, metals. Typically because urethane tubing is free of plasticizers, it will be specified over these other materials particularly if the application will cause the urethane tubing to become worn-down due to excessive exposure to friction or abrasion.

When companies select urethane tubing they do so because they have been provided assurance that the urethane tubing will deliver optimal performance—that keeps their business operational.

There is little if no opportunity for urethane tubing to fail—as it can result in lost revenue or increased expenses for a business.

It is for this reason, custom tubing manufacturing companies often recommend urethane tube to their customers because urethane tubing, unlike other materials, won’t break, tear, swell, deteriorate, crack, or abrade.  Due to its ability to retain these strong properties will lower the need for urethane tubing to be replaced or repaired.

urethane tubing, while considered expensive, will provide numerous business advantages of not only being able to withstand demanding applications, but urethane tubing will deliver cost-effective solutions for your bottom line.

Polyethylene tubing is child’s play

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Whether you’re a baby boomer or a Gen Xer, everyone knows what a Hula-Hoop™ is—even if you never took on the challenge of keeping this simple polyethylene extrusion balanced on your hips.

But imagine that because of this accidental invention of polyethylene (well polymer) it spawned a host of products—from polyethylene tubes used for automotives to well, the aforementioned toy developed by Wham-O. Interesting side note: in six months this flexible new poly tubing produced the sale of 20 million polyethylene tubes that were sold for a measly $1.98! And these polyethylene tubes are still produced today. As a matter of fact, these colorful polyethylene plastic tubes—OK better known as Hula-Hoops—have developed a following that has sustained itself for 50 years.

Now one can surmise that the relatively popularity of the Hula-Hoop was based purely on its novelty—but it could also be assumed that it was desirable because of the inherent durability of poly tubing.

While this trip down the polyethylene tubing memory lane may not suit your specific industry it is a testament to the fact that polyethylene plastic tubing because of its high level of inertness is virtually indestructible. It can withstand conditions that are suited to a variety of applications—particularly where it is critical that it perform reliably despite certain conditions, such as extreme high/low temperatures, stresses that cause cracks, and can undergo repeated flexing with marginal impact.

But on a less “playful note” — of course polyethylene tubing is perfect for use in laboratories, hospitals, food and beverage industries, particularly in industries that must meet certain FDA standards and where permeable tubing is undesirable.

Manufactured as both semi-rigid and flexible—polyethylene tubes are a cultural icon that will endure as long as the Hula-Hoop itself.