Extrusion specialist talks ‘core’ competencies in medical catheter manufacturing

Medical tubing specialist Dunn Industries (Wayne, PA) will highlight the benefits of using polymer mandrels in catheter manufacturing operations at the co-located MD&M West and PLASTEC West trade show and conference in Anaheim, CA, in February.

At booth 2033, the company will feature its acetal Catheter Core mandrel technology, which maintains critical lumen tolerances during the extrusion and assembly of minimally invasive catheter shafts. Over at the Technical Solutions conference track, Dan Lazas, Senior Director at Tekni-Plex, Dunn’s parent company, will explain to conference attendees how to determine the best mandrel—metal or plastic—for a given application. Lazas is scheduled to speak on Feb. 5 at 11 AM; the event runs Feb. 5 to 7, 2019, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Dunn Industries acetal mandrels
Acetal-based mandrels maintain critical lumen tolerances during the extrusion and assembly of minimally invasive catheter shafts.

Dunn’s proprietary Catheter Core technology enables medical catheter manufacturers to retain critical lumen tolerances during the extrusion, braiding, coiling and jacketing processes, said the company. Low-friction material properties and ultra-smooth surfaces allow easy removal of the cores following catheter shaft assembly. The cores are available in diameters from 0.020 to 0.250 inches with tolerances as low as +/- 0.0005 inches. 

The solid acetal rod is supplied on continuous spools for ease-of-use during catheter processing operations.

Reinforced tubing is frequently used for diagnostic and guide catheters, high-pressure contrast injection tubing and other minimally invasive devices, said Dunn. Adding reinforcement to the plastic tube wall improves torque transmission, kink and internal pressure resistance, and column strength.

At the conference session, Lazas will explain how polymer mandrels are able to produce tight tolerances that are unachievable using free-form extrusion. Consequently, polymer mandrels have grown in popularity in recent years as manufacturers seek to satisfy OEM demand for thin-wall, tight-tolerance designs.

Dunn also manufactures custom medical tubing for diagnostic and interventional devices from a wide range of thermoplastics, including polyether block amides, thermoplastic polyurethanes, thermoplastic elastomers, polyamides and polyolefins. Tubes are available in outer diameters as small as 0.008 inches, inner diameters down to 0.004 inches and in diameters as large as 0.480 inches. Configurations include single and multi-lumen, co-extruded layers and stripes, and longitudinal wire or fiber reinforced.

Dunn Industries is among the more than 1900 exhibitors attending MD&M West and PLASTEC West in Anaheim, CA, in February. In addition to a plethora of sourcing and networking opportunities on the show floor, dozens of conference sessions beckon attendees interested in a deeper dive into medtech R&D, smart manufacturing, 3D printing and many other topics. For more information and to register to attend, go to the PLASTEC West website.

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