Putnam Plastics Corporation

Polyimide Medical Tubing

Polyimide Medical Tubing

What is polyimide tubing?

Polyimides are used to manufacture vascular catheters for insertion into small vessels in the neck, head and brain. Using this particular material gives us the ability to produce small, thin-walled catheters with exceptional physical properties. For this reason polyimide tubing is one of Putnam’s flagship product lines. We are proud to be at the forefront of polyimide medical device manufacturing.

Why would you choose polyimide?

The mechanical, thermal, chemical and radiation properties along with the tight tolerances of thermoset polyimide tubing are unmatched by any other material.  Putnam Plastics resin has been tested and certified to USP Class VI biocompatibility. PTFE additives can be incorporated for reduced coefficient of friction where necessary.  Colored polyimide tubing can be also be produced. A range of colors are available to suit different custom applications. Polyimide catheters have a range of added benefits: 

  • Kink resistance
  • Chemical resistance
  • Thermal stability
  • Trackability (flexibility, friction and column strength), pushability and torqueability—optimal for use in endovascular applications
  • Column strength
  • Ultra-smooth surface
  • Chemical inertia
  • Torque transmission
  • Gamma, EtO & E-beam sterilization tolerant
  • A large color selection: amber, black, green, red (other options are available, please contact sales rep with inquiry)

What are the available diameters, wall thicknesses and lumen shapes of polyimide tube?

  • Thermoset polyimide tubing is available in a single lumen configuration. One or more polyimide single lumen tubes may also be incorporated into a multi-lumen thermoplastic extrusion as a lumen lining. 
  • Outer diameters range from 0.009 inches to 0.090 inches (0.152 mm to 2.286 mm) with wall thicknesses ranging from 0.0002 inches* to 0.010 inches (0.005 mm to 0.254 mm). * Please note that an .0002 inch wall thickness is only applicable to our polyimide shaft liners. For standalone polyimide tubing, the minimum wall thickness is 0.0010 inches

What other advantages does polyimide tubing have for medical devices?

Polyimide tubing can also be reinforced with stainless steel wires in coil and/or braid configurations. Coil reinforcement provides resistance to collapse and buckling, while braid reinforcement improves burst strength and torque transmission.  Putnam can custom manufacture polyimide tubes to meet the most demanding or complex requirements. Composite tubing combines the favorable characteristics of one or more materials into a superior catheter.

What other options are offered with polyimide tubing?

Putnam offers a range of services that can be incorporated into polyimide tubing:

  • Coating services
  • Laser machining 
  • Sub-assemblies
  • Discrete coatings for components such as tips

Which medical devices and procedures are polyimide tubing commonly used in?

Vascular catheters threaded through the neck and head to the brain require high tensile strength in a very narrow tube. Polyimide is resistant to bursting, making it an excellent choice for endovascular procedures.  Polyimide tubing is used in a wide range of medical applications and devices: 

  • Sleeving and insulating applications
  • Laparoscopy applications
  • Urological retrieval devices
  • Neurologic applications
  • Fiber optics
  • Delivery of medications intravascularly
  • Balloon angioplasty and stent delivery
  • Suction lumen for endovascular surgery for atherosclerosis removal
  • Lumen liner for lumens transporting catheter-steering wires
  • Applications requiring heat or gamma radiation resistance 
  • Devices that require corrosion resistance, for example robotic medical tools 
  • As a polymer needle or puncture tool to cut through tissue leveraging strong tensile strength

What ISO certification does Putnam Plastics have?

Putnam’s manufacturing facilities are ISO 13485:2016 certified.

ISO 13485:2016 Medical Devices Quality Management Certified Company

What are the technical specs for polyimide?

Technical Specifications of Polyimide

Coefficient of Friction:Kinetic 0.48, Static 0.63 ASTM D-1894-90
Coefficient of Thermal Conductivity:0.12 W/m*K ASTM F-433-77
Density @ Room Temp:1.42 g/mL @ 23C ASTM D-1505-90
Dielectric Constant:3.4 assume 0.001” wall
Dielectric Strength:7700 V/mil assume 0.001” wall
Elongation @ Break:60% Minimum
Radiation Resistance:Tensile stable, elongation retains 98% of pre-radiation (gamma) value for exposure of 10^6 J/Kg over 96 hours. (assume 0.001” wall)
Thermal Endurance:50% of original tensile retained over 200h at 617°F in air
Thermal Rating:-452°F – 752°F (intermittent)

Why is Putnam the best choice for polyimide tubing? 

For decades, Putnam has provided unparalleled engineering expertise to our global clientele. Talk with one of experienced engineers or sales representatives to find out how we can develop and manufacture the best custom polyimide tubing and medical catheters to meet your specifications.

Why Choose Putnam?

  • 40+ years experience across 36 countries
  • Innovative design and research expertise
  • In-house ISO certified production facilities
  • Single source integrated solution