Thin Wall PTFE Tubing: Different Applications Explained

April 22, 2019 by  
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Tube

The demand for PTFE tubing is growing, mainly because it is so versatile that it can be used in almost every industry imaginable. From medical devices to electrical wiring tubing to piping, the list of applications for thick and thin wall PTFE tubing is impressive and expanding! Here is why and how it is used.

Reasons Why PTFE Tubing Is So Popular

Heat Resistant: Some PTFE tubing can withstand regular exposure to plus 500 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. Almost all PTFE tubing thin wall is highly resistant to heat. This makes it ideal for applications where exposure to hot liquids is routine. Additionally, its resistance is not countered by it becoming brittle when not exposed to heat, which means maintenance costs in high heat applications is minimal. The heat range it can be exposed to is approximate -450 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, making it easily the most diverse tubing in regard to temperature on the market. That diversity makes it popular across applications and industries.

Corrosion Resistant: A thin wall PTFE tube is mostly inert when exposed to other chemicals. This means that there are almost no adverse reactions when exposed to a wide variety of harsh chemicals and acids. Additionally, it is impermeable, which means it is water and air tight, even in areas that are subjected to high heat or harsh substances. These two factors in regard to durability and resiliency make it ideal for the transport of chemicals. It also adds to the safety quotient of anything it is transporting as the only way it will leak is if it is physically punctured as opposed to being eaten or worn away by a corrosive element.

Extremely Low Friction Coefficient: Light wall PTFE tubing has a very low friction coefficient (0.1,) which makes it ideal for applications where friction can be dangerous or painful. Two examples are catheters and snares. The low friction ratio makes using both much easier than with a substance with a higher friction coefficient. In fact, smooth bore thin wall PTFE tubing has the lowest friction coefficient of any known solid materials.

Tubing

Applications

PTFE tubing comes in three main categories:

  • Pressure Hose
  • Spaghetti Tubing
  • Pipe Liner

Its wall thickness and tube diameter determine the type.

Within each category, PTFE is further classified:

Split: This consists of a ridge that permits splitting longitudinally. It is used by medical personnel internationally to extract PTFE introducers from patient bodies without dislocating the primary device.

Heat Shrunk: Tubing of this sort is very thin, and it decreases or shrinks when exposed to hot air. This allows for air and watertight fit. It makes it ideal for securing small and thin components like wire.

Filled: With this application, the tubing is infused with chemical additives that give off radioactive properties. That makes it visible in X-rays and where anti-static properties are required.

Multi-Lumen: Tubing applications of this type have a number of smaller tubes in a single interior. Each layer contains a unique fluid or wire. These types of applications are common in the medical industry.

In many ways, PTFE tubing has reinvented certain types of manufacturing. It is used in the science and medicine fields, medical device industry, with electrical wire producers and automobile manufacturers. Best of all, it seems new applications are being discovered all the time. For more information on PTFE tubing and whether it is right for your manufacturing needs, check out Tef-Cap.

4 Unique Uses for Heat Shrink Tubing

April 20, 2019 by  
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Frayed electrical wires

PTFE tubing is used to solve a wide variety of industrial repair problems, but you can also use it in your home or office to fix everyday problems like frayed wires and worn shoelaces. Keep reading to learn more.

Frayed and Frazzled

In the era of cellular technology, humanity would be doomed if not for the power cable. If you’re like most people, your devices and cables endure a lot of daily abuse. Some cables, unfortunately, become chew toys for furry friends and toddlers. The adapter head that plugs into your device receives the most wear and tear from everyday handling. The problem usually stems from cheap materials and poor quality controls at the manufacturing level. Frayed power cables can quickly become health hazards, exposing you to electric shock. Fix a frayed or exposed charging cable with shrink tubing to prevent accidental shock and fire hazards.

Get a Grip

Do you like to play sports like tennis, golf, or baseball? Do you want to improve your game without spending more money on new equipment or equipment repair? Heat shrink can help you get a better grip on your tennis racquet, clubs, bats, and other hardware. Non-slip heat shrink is specially designed to help you get a better handle on pipes and cables, but you can apply this same technology to your sporting equipment and improve your game at the same time. Repairing your favorite racquet or bat can be expensive and time-consuming. Get back in the game fast with a quick treatment of heat and a non-slip shrink tube.

Tennis racquet handle

All Tied Up

Whether you use them for hiking, jogging, work, or around the house, you have time and energy invested in breaking in your favorite pair of shoes. With proper care, they could last for several years. However, those little plastic caps on the end of your shoelaces just don’t seem to last as long as they used to. Instead of going to the store, buying more shoelaces, and then weaving them onto your favorite pair of shoes, use heat shrink wrap to fix your current laces quickly. Heat shrink wrap is available in a plethora of sizes, even some a thin as a shoelace. Remove the old plastic wrap or cut the lace just below the area. Thread the lace through the shrink tube and apply gentle heat until it shrinks to the desired size.

Silence Is Golden

Does your key ring make enough noise to wake up the whole house? Does your dog’s collar chime every time he walks across the room? Small, metallic objects have the potential to disrupt the peace in your home, but heat shrink wrap can put a damper on those annoying sounds. Cut a piece of clear tubing large enough to fit over the head of your key or dog tag. Be careful not to cover the cut portions of the key. Apply heat and use a hole punch to rethread the key or ID tag.

These are just a few creative ways to use heat shrink PFTE tubing around your home and solve everyday problems. For more idea on how to use heat wrap contact the experts at Tef-Cap.

Reasons Why Medical Device Manufacturers Should Choose PTFE Tubing

April 18, 2019 by  
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Medical device tubes

One constant in the highly competitive medical device manufacturing industry is the quest to produce improved devices with better and better performance ratios. This challenge has created several sub-challenges, one of which was to figure out how to join metal and plastic and have them work in unison. One small way they have achieved their goals in this regard is to mainstream the use of standard wall PTFE tubing in medical devices where tubing is needed. There are many reasons for this.

The Industry Environment

The medical device industry is one of the most competitive in existence. As an industry, there are many manufacturers competing for the same customers, and that means gaining a slight competitive edge can be the difference between cornering the market and showing up a little late.

In addition, there are strict regulations that are part of the governing regimen of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Manufacturers also have to be concerned with the invasiveness of their equipment and their ability to provide their intended service in an environment where a malfunction can literally kill a patient. Their devices have to work, and work correctly every time, which means superior quality is a principal goal.

What PTFE Is

Industrial wall PTFE tubing helps meet all that criterion. PTFE, a fluoropolymer, has been used for decades and is a chemical product that has a high number of fluorocarbons. The closest everyday substance that it resembles is Teflon.

Non-Stick

As with Teflon, the non-stick qualities of wall PTFE tubing make it ideal for a medical device. Non-stick surfaces make the transfer of fluids almost seamless and helps avoid clogging, ensuring a medical device remains functional, even during high use. The same concept that lets you cook on a non-stick pan surface without having food left behind is the same principle that makes PTFE tubing ideal.

Oxygen tubes

No Chemical Reactions

Another benefit is that it is inert with most chemicals. This means there are no adverse reactions that could harm the device or the patient or interfere with the performance of the machine. Not having to take that into account speeds up the manufacturing process and reduces the chances that a piece of equipment will become an issue when treating a patient.

Low Friction

Even thin wall PTFE tubing possesses the lowest friction ratio of any polymer, which means it can be used in high-stress situations with no degradation in quality. In fact, light wall PTFE tubing can function in high-use temperature ranges approaching and exceeding 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Miscellaneous Benefits

All PTFE tubing possesses excellent electrical properties. It is also highly resistant to UV radiation and can withstand constant use while displaying very little weathering. As an aside, these two realities are also why PTFE tubing is a choice of electrical wiring and automobile manufacturers.

In the quest to create better medical devices, engineers are always on the lookout for even the smallest gains. A simple benefit can yield great dividends as it pertains to getting a product to market and making it the industry choice. If you are looking for materials to create superior medical devices, check out Tef-Cap.

PTFE Heat Shrinkage Tubing: Where It Began

April 10, 2019 by  
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Colorful Heat Shrink Tubes

Heat shrinkage tubing is the process of decreasing the size of plastic tubes that are used to insulate cables and wires. This will allow you to better insulate the wires or provide resistance to potential abrasion. While you may be interested in using heat shrinking tubing for your wire or cable insulation, you may also wonder how this process came about and how it works. Here is some more information on the history and process of heat shrinkable PTFE tubing.

Invention of Heat Shrink

The process of heat shrink tubing was pioneered in the 1950s by the Raychem Corporation and its founder, Paul Cook. A chemical engineer, Cook founded his company with a focus on radiation chemistry, which is how the name of the company came about. Cook invented two products that would be the primary focus of his company: lightweight aircraft cables and heat-shrinkable tubing. While the Raychem Corporation was the pioneer of this process, it has since become widely used by a variety of companies within the industry.

Uses of Heat Shrinkable Tubes

Heat shrinkable tubes are typically used for two purposes: protection, and the cosmetic changes of cables and wires. This process can protect cables and wires by sealing water or dust out and away from the cables, protecting the cable or wiring from extreme heat, and providing a barrier between cable or wires and any chemicals that could corrode them. From a cosmetic point of view, you can create a color code for identification purposes, gather wires together, or improve the appearance of the wires.

Making Heat Shrinking Tubes

There are a variety of thermoplastics that heat shrinking tubes can be made out of including polyolefin, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP). If conductivity is an issue, a conductive polymer thick film can also be used to connect multiple conductive objects through tubing without the need to solder them. If the need arises, you may be able to add an adhesive lining that will make the tubing waterproof.

Why the Tubing is Shrinkable

Plastic tubing itself will not shrink when exposed to heat, so a process called cross-linking was created to complete the process. Cross-linking occurs when the plastic is exposed to a certain amount of radiation. After World War II, it was discovered that exposing plastics to radiation would allow you to intentionally alter the molecular structure without them melting. A process called covalent bonding between the atoms of the polymer allowed it to experience plastic memory. This means that when the plastic is cross-linked and expanded in shape, it will instinctively return to its original size when exposed to a specific amount of heat.

Using Purple Heat Shrink Tube

How Much Shrinkage?

You may want to heat shrink your tubing, but only a certain amount. So how do you know how much it will shrink? All heat shrinking tubing is provided with a shrink ratio that will tell you how much it can potentially shrink. The ratio is decided based on how small it will become compared to its original size. For example, if your heat shrink ratio is 5:1, the tubing is capable of shrinking up to one-fifth of its expanded size.

Heat shrink tubing allows you the ability to protect your cables and wires or make cosmetic changes. Once the primary product of an innovative company, heat shrinkable PTFE tubing has become an industry standard.