Polyester heat shrink tubing is often used to cover braided catheter shafts, spring coils, radio-opaque marker bands and other parts that require a thin, but tough protective covering.
It offers a quickly and easily applied reinforcement for smooth transitions over sharp edges, provides strain relief to prevent kinking, offers chemical protection and allows for the bundling of various components into the smallest possible space.
The tubing provides smooth transitions over sharp edges and can be sealed against fluid leakage. One manufacturer uses it over a rotary spring cutter to keep debris from clogging the coils and to act as a bearing surface inside the device. It provides a fluid seal, yet the cutter remains flexible. And the very thin walls add virtually no dimensional increase to the device.
The tubing is also used to provide strain relief on catheters and other tubes to prevent kinking. A braided catheter will tend to kink at the point where the braid ends, but encapsulation with heat shrink tubing provides a quick, easily applied reinforcement providing a smooth transition over the two surfaces. Using shrink tubing is a repeatable, consistent and efficient alternative to coatings. It eliminates the solvents and chemicals required in the coating process, as well as the inherent issues of uniformity and pin holes in coatings.
Endoscopes and other devices can be downsized or have more features added without a size increase with the use of ultra thin wall tubing. Unique devices can be produced using polyester heat shrink tubing to bundle various components into the smallest possible space. Components such as plastic and metal tubing, wires, optical fibers, etc. can be compressed and protected. Connecting tubes at the ends of a device can be made of thin wall polyester, too, to save valuable space. The thinner walls of polyester tubing can free up enough space to add another working channel inside an endoscope. Or it might enable the designer to reduce the size of the device by a whole French catheter size.
- Very thin wall adds virtually no dimensional increase
- Smooth transitions made over sharp edges
- Provides strain relief to prevent kinking
- Easy, quick application
- Repeatable and consistent
- Adhesive can be UV-cured through the clear tubing
- Provides chemical protection