Research & Development
Our team of Plastics Engineers are available and eager to work with you at any stage of development. From the formative ideas to the finished product, our team is willing to step in at any time to provide our input in your research and design with a solution in mind. In a field of constantly evolving technologies, our company is determined to create innovative products to meet your needs.
Argos Corporation works closely with our Material Vendors to remain at the forefront of the industry. Here is a brief list of typical thermoplastic materials commonly used in the medical industry. For more comprehensive details, please contact us with your specific reuirements.
Versatile material available in both Flexible (FPVC) and Rigid (RPVC) formulations. Can be easily joined or welded. Meets the demands of sterilization through steam, Ethylene Oxide, and radiation. Grades available to meet FDA and USP Class VI.
- Laboratory tubing
- Oxygen tubing
- Specialty applications
TPE is the general name given to a variety of flexible polymer compounds. It stands for Thermoplastic Elastomer, and there are many types used within the Medical Industry. Notable are the Styrene Block Co-polymers, Polyether Block Amide (PEBA compounds such as Pebax®), and many blends and alloys custom formulated to meet a variety of applications. Originally used to replace FPVC, the versatility of these materials have allowed for numerous innovations within the medical industry.
- Medical tubing
- Peristaltic Pump tubing
- Soft touch flexible sleeves
Crystal clear, very tough and rigid. Available in grades that meet USP Class VI. Can be modified to improve gamma radiation sterilization. Ethylene Oxide and autoclave compatible. Typical applications include rigid cannula and tiny capillary tubes.
- Nylon 6: Tough, engineering grade material. Hygroscopic (absorbs moisture)
- Nylon 6/6: Similar to Nylon 6, but with higher temperature resistance.
- Nylon 11 or 12: Often compounded to achieve flexibility, these are specialty grades that offer a variety of properties including improved oil resistance or superior flexibility. Often used in automotive tubing and hose applications.
- Copolymers: Blended with flexible modifiers to improve flex and impact properties.
The most flexible grade, LDPE is commonly used in tubing where kink resistance is important. LLDPE: similar to LDPE, but slightly stiffer and with better ESCR, especially in small diameter thin wall tubing.
High Density Polyethylene displays the highest rigidity and solvent resistance, as well as good burst strength and ESCR (Environmental Stress Crack Resistance). Used extensively in pressure rated tube and piping applications.
Polyethylene is one of the most widely used materials due to it’s cost and performance. As a reactor born material it can be provided to meet FDA and USP Class VI requirements. Used alone or combined with other materials to improve properties, PE materials are used frequently in the medical device industry when price and reliability are important and are easily sterilized by most common methods.
- LDPE and LLDPE: Low Density Polyethylene and Linear Low Density Polyethylene are similar in look and feel. Used in similar applications they offer the most flexibility within the PE family.
- HDPE: High Density Polyethylene is higher in density and has higher rigidity. Its low surface tension provides good slip properties.
Common use for all grades include drainage tubing and packaging. These low cost materials often protect the most expensive and delicate devices during transit or in use
Another member of the Olefin family, polypropylene (PP) is available in two basic types: Homopolymer PP is rigid with good chemical resistance. Copolymer is more flexible with better low temperature properties. Both are often used in place of alternatives such as LDPE or HDPE in order to take advantage of their superior high temperature resistance or their bonding options. They offer high purity and are inherently resistant to many chemicals used in the medical industry.
Ethylene Vinyl Acetate is a copolymer of Ethylene and Vinyl Acetate. Their properties change with percent VA content. These can be used as a low temperature stand-alone material, or blended with other materials to improve properties and/or processing.
EVA can also be used as a hot melt adhesive, and is often used as the tie layer in complex multilayer thermoplastic films and tubes.
Available in a range of durometers, TPU’s are among the toughest soft, flexible materials, allowing for thinner walls and lower durometers for demanding applications. Two families based on chemical composition:
- Polyester based TPU’s offer excellent abrasion and chemical resistance.
- Polyether based TPU’s provide superior performance in wet environments and have outstanding low temperature properties.
Often used for catheter tubing, the materials outstanding chemical resistance and bondability allow for many configurations.
Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF)
- Available in both rigid homopolymers and more flexible copolymers. Widely used for their chemical resistance, they also offer superior non-stick properties, ultra low extractables and leachables in the ppb range, no animal derivatives and are bio-inert. USP Class VI grades will withstand autoclaving and gamma sterilization.
FEP, THV, ECTFE
- Just a few of the other melt processable fluoropolymers.
It is often desirable to add properties for specific applications. Many plastic materials are therefore blended with “functional fillers” to achieve a host of characteristics such as:
- Radio opaque
- Electrically Conductive
- High lubricity/low friction
- Static dissipation
The engineers at Argos have decades of experience to help you determine the best material for your application.
Products and Services
Let our engineers work with you to design your custom tubing and approve the best material for your application. Diameters from .007” up to 2” we can provide the most cost effective tube or extrusion for your application.
Our in-house staff of Plastic Engineers can design tooling to provide tubing with multiple chambers to meet a variety of purposes within the medical industry.
Thermoplastic tubing can be provided with a stripe in the sidewall. This stripe can be for identification purposes, or to perform a certain function such as static dissipation or radio opacity.
Bump or Taper Tubing
Sometimes, a constant diameter tube just won’t due. Argos Corporations team of engineers will gladly work with your designers to provide tubing that can vary in both diameter and wall thickness along the length in order to provide precisely what is required for your application.
Oftentimes, a single material is not capable of providing the properties or cost limitations for a specific application. Argos Corporation has the capability to extrude different materials into one tube, layering the materials in such a way as to gain the benefit from each material while maintaining a consistent final product.