Medical applications for Coextruded Plastic Tubing
Coextrusion processes can form stripes and layers on tubes to reconcile seemingly contradictory requirements, such as flexibility and strength and chemical resistance.
In medical applications, coextruded stripes are often used as identifiers. For example, since drug delivery and surgical tubes are often routed to remote medical devices, different colored coextruded stripes in clear tubing can easily identify the various tubes while maintaining visibility of the contents.
Other coextruded, striping options include radiopaque materials, such as barium sulfate. Radiopaque materials coextruded as a stripe in surgical tubing can be seen in x-ray scans and can help a physician identify the tube’s position when it has been inserted into a patient’s body.
In addition to surgical applications, coextruded tubing is used in catheters, IV products and drug delivery devices. For example, the combination of coextruded materials with different properties can create an inner layer with drug compatibility and an outer layer fitting application specifics such as device connections and impermeability.
GLOSSARY: The extrusion of multiple layers of distinct materials simultaneously into a desired form.