Industry Standards and Considerations for Medical Tubing

Plastic tubing is used for various non-invasive medical and laboratory applications and is required to meet specific standards based on abrasion resistance, flexibility, hardness and durability.  
 
Performance considerations for medical tubing:
  • Bend radius to measure flexibility and resistance to kinking that can cause equipment malfunction
  • Pressure rating to determine how much pressure the tube can withstand
  • Temperature range to determine compatibility with your operating environment
  • Maximum vacuum pressure to determine how much pressure can be created in the tube
  • Sizing, including inner diameter, to ensure the tubing will properly fit the connectors for your hospital equipment
 
Freelin-Wade plastic tubing is offered in several material types and in standard and coiled options for use in pneumatic or fluid applications. Our larger, “industrial” extruding equipment, with line speeds of more than 200ft per minute may benefit your pricing requirements. As you can imagine, with these line speeds our tolerance and size range is not as small as a typical medical extruder.
 
Please note, our tubing is not manufactured in a “clean room” environment and therefore, is for non-invasive applications only and is not approved to be used inside the human body. Contact us to learn more.
 

Plastic Tubing as An Alternative to Using Hoses for Pneumatic Systems

Hospitals utilize pneumatic systems for a wide range of applications including operating hospital beds, blood pressure cuffs, pressure cuffs for therapy, and others. Using plastic tubing instead of reinforced hoses can save money while providing you with durable and reliable pneumatic function.
 

General Applications for Medical Tubing and Sleeves

  • Non-invasive catheter cable sleeves
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laboratory testing and equipment
  • Circulating water through cooling vests and blankets
 

Pneumatic Plastic Tubing for Hospital and Therapy Equipment

  • Pneumatically operated hospital beds
  • Negative pressure wound therapy
  • Massaging cuffs for sports injuries
  • Tourniquets
 

Common Materials for Medical Plastic Tubing

Many of the plastic tubing materials we offer have high tensile strength while remaining flexible, and feature resistance to moisture, chemicals, and low or high temperatures.
 

Poly-Vinyl Chloride (PVC)

The addition of plasticizers makes PVC incredibly flexible and a great option for clear tubing. Poly-vinyl chloride medical tubing is free of BPA, latex and phthalates and can be sterilized via Gamma or EtO methods. It resists abrasion, tearing and contamination, and has a smooth interior and exterior to prevent sediment accumulation. PVC is flexible enough to bend around equipment and is suitable for use with pneumatic systems or water-based applications.
 
Recommended uses: Air beds, pressure cuffs, blood pressure cuffs, laboratory equipment, dental equipment.
 

Polyurethane

This highly flexible tubing material is available in varying levels of hardness and resists kinks, cracking and abrasion that can lead to problematic leaks. Polyurethane medical pneumatic tubing also has excellent memory and resists fungus, chemicals, water and oil. Polyurethane hoses and coils are also available.
 
Recommended uses: Air beds, pressure cuffs, blood pressure cuffs, laboratory equipment, dental equipment.
 

Silcryn™

Silcryn™ is a specialty material that looks, feels and performs like silicone or rubber, but is less costly. It is smooth and flexible with a satin finish and can be used for cable sleeves and jacketing, or as tubing for non-invasive applications. It glides easily over other tubing and surfaces, so there is less worry about the tubing catching on equipment or causing discomfort.
 
Recommended uses: bundling tubes and cables for hospital, laboratory and dental equipment.
 

FEP

FEP is a flexible material that provides high thermal stability, high resistance to heat and is chemically inert to most chemicals and solvents. It has almost no moisture absorption, is easy to clean and provides electrical insulation properties.
 
Recommended uses: laboratory
 

Kynar®

Kynar® tubing provides high resistance to UV light and radiation, and a wide range of chemicals including acids, alcohol, and chloride. It is also non-flammable, resists fungal growth and can be sterilized via Gamma Radiation, autoclave or Ozone. 
 
Recommended uses: laboratory
 

Request Additional Information About Medical Plastic Tubing

Contact us to learn more about medical tubing options or to discuss your custom plastic tubing requirements. Freelin-Wade can also provide a certificate of conformance and medical certificates for compliance upon request.