Coextruded Tubing | Co Extruded Healthcare Tubing
Extruded tubing comes in many sizes, colors and materials. Most extruded tubing has only a single layer and most processors only offer single layer tubing. Monolayer tubing can only have the properties of a single material and may offer limited functionality. Coextrusion can modify the physical features of a tube to add visual appeal, surface lubricity, or physical strength. There are limitless possibilities of material combinations that can be realized using coextrusion.
Coextruded tubing can offer physical performance enhancements not available with monolayer tubing. Commonly, coextruded tubing is made with thin (.002”-.005”) layers on the inside and/or outside of the tube along with a thicker (.005”-.100”) more structural layer in the middle. The layers may either protect the middle layer material from damage, may protect the tube contents or user from contact with the material, or may add unique physical properties.
Another common use for coextrusion is the addition of a layer to provide a barrier for gas or moisture. Many common materials like polyethylene and styrene lack barrier performance. This means that vapors or gasses may permeate through the wall of the tube resulting in the contents slowly evaporating or outside elements, such as oxygen, entering. The addition of a barrier layer impedes this phenomenon.
Newly formulated materials can be coextruded with traditional tube materials. Specific surface conditioning is now possible with new resin formulations. Tubes with physical properties mimicking standard commodity products can be coextruded with layers of new formulations to offer solutions like low coefficient of friction, static dissipation and even anti-thrombogenic properties in a tube that otherwise appears to be indistinguishable from typical tubing.
New devices are being designed every day. New materials are being formulated every day. Coextrusion can be a link to join these expanding technologies into future products.