With the growing number of uses for PTFE tubes, it is definitely a challenge for manufacturers to cater to the varying demands across industries. Over the past two decades, PTFE tubes have made their way into different consumer, industrial and medical sectors in the form of pipes, coatings and other essential components.
The primary reason for the extensive use of PTFE tubing is the exceptional characteristics of this material:
- Highly resistant to heat: The high resistance to heat means that this plastic has extremely high melting temperatures. This makes it perfect for use in industries where transportation of hot liquids is a daily operation.
- Resistant to corrosion: PTFE is chemically inert, making it resistant to a wide variety of harsh chemicals and acids. It is also impermeable; therefore water cannot make its way through. This makes PTFE tubing the perfect option to transport chemicals.
- Low coefficient of friction: With the low coefficient of friction (0.1), PTFE tubing is perfect for use in catheters and snares.
Types and uses of PTFE tubing
PTFE tubing manufacturers typically classify it in three different categories depending on the wall thickness and tube diameter:
- Pressure hose
- Spaghetti tubing
- Pipe liner
Within these categories, there are further types and their different uses, as mentioned below:
- Split: In these PTFE tubes, the wall consists of a ridge that allows the tubing to be split longitudinally. This enables medical practitioners around the globe to extract PTFE introducers from patient’s bodies without dislocating the primary device.
- Heat shrinkable: This tubing is made using a very thin material. When the inside is exposed to hot air, it decreases or shrinks. This allows for manufacturing of wires and glass tubes along with other insulation purposes.
- Multi-lumen: This tubing has a number of smaller tubes within a single interior. Each layer contains a different type of fluid or wire. Multi-lumen tubes are used across a number of applications in the medical industry.
- Filled: This tubing involves chemical additives to give the tube radioactive properties. This is yet another important type of PTFE tubing in medical applications as it is visible in X-rays. Fillers are also utilized where anti static properties are required.