Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - 23

also offers excellent concentricity, flexibility, and thin-wall construction. It is
best suited for applications that require
low-temperature shrink and flexibility.
Table 1 provides a comparison of polyolefin, PET, and PTFE materials.
Advantages of Polyolefin
Polyolefin is a superior choice for heat
shrink tubing because of its high shrink
ratios, excellent fit, compliance, and
thin walls. Polyolefin is available in several different formulations:
* LDPE - Low-density polyethylene
* HDPE - High-density polyethylene
* LDPE with EVA
* LLDPE - Linear low-density polyethylene
The addition of EVA makes the tubing
softer, more supple and easier to expand
to high shrink ratios at lower levels of
EVA content. EVA concentrations can
vary but typically range between 6 and
28 percent. The higher the EVA content,
the softer and more supple the tubing

Polyolefin's high shrink ratio makes it suitable for use
on devices with varying outer diameters. (Credit:
Lubrizol Life Science)

will be. One drawback is that the heat
shrink tubing sometimes becomes tackier and has lower shrink ratios.
Shrink and mechanical properties can
differ even more if you blend two or
more polyethylenes together to achieve
desired physical properties. The blending will require an extra step to compound the materials, and the manufac-

Heat shrink tubing can be colored for identification or
aesthetic purposes, such as to cover a joint or to provide a smooth transition between a tube and a connector. (Credit: Lubrizol Life Science)

turer must be careful to ensure homogeneity of the blend prior to producing
the base tubing, so the tubing expands
consistently after the irradiation step.
Design Considerations
Once you choose your ideal grade of
polyolefin, it's important to choose the
right partner to help you optimize your

Innovative solutions. Engineered to your specific requirements.
Realize your vision. Partner with the most innovative team in the industry.
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Medical Design Briefs, April 2021

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Medical Design Briefs - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Medical Design Briefs - April 2021

Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - Intro
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - Cov4
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - Cov1a
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - Cov1b
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - Cov1
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - Cov2
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - 1
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - 2
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - 3
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - 4
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - 5
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - 6
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - 7
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - 8
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Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - Cov3
Medical Design Briefs - April 2021 - Cov4
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