Medical grade silicone tubing complies with industry standards and requirements to perform in a variety of medical applications. Silicone elastomers are the preferred material in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical fields due to their many desirable benefits, including versatility, biocompatibility, and ease of use. Silicone also has a favorable price than other materials used in healthcare applications, such as extruded thermoplastic elastomers and thermoplastics.
Vanguard Products Corporation is a full-service manufacturer and engineering service provider with over 50 years in the business. We manufacture all of our products in the USA and deliver a broad range of custom gaskets, tubing, and seals made with the highest precision. To learn more about our non-invasive products for the medical industry, contact us today.
Benefits of Silicone Tubing in the Healthcare Industry
In the medical industry, versatile tubing that can reliably handle sterilization is critical to ensuring safe patient care. Medical grade silicone is a versatile material that can meet the demands of healthcare applications. The following properties make silicone tubing essential to the healthcare industry:
- Sterilization. Silicone is compatible with a range of sterilization methods. It can be sterilized for sanitary reuse countless times, preventing infection and reducing the cost of single-use replacement tubing.
- Biocompatible. Medical grade silicone is a preferred material for medical applications due to its biocompatibility. It is a non-allergenic alternative to rubber latex, which can cause reactions in some patients.
- Clarity. Medical grade silicone can be highly transparent, allowing healthcare professionals to monitor and measure liquids like IV fluid and drainage.
- Temperature Resistant. Silicone can withstand temperatures exceeding 440° F. Its heat resistance permits high heat disinfecting with autoclaving, dry heat, or steam.
- Odorless, Tasteless, and Chemically Inert. Silicone does not interact with substances such as oxygen, medicine, food, and beverages, allowing healthcare professionals to administer substances without altering the medium.
- Accessible in Multiple Grade Options. Select grade options provide various properties for a wide range of applications. Choices include USP Class VI-grade, Platinum-cure, peroxide cure, and FDA-grade silicone.
Materials for Medical Tubing
Medical tubing can be made from several materials, each offering unique performance benefits for medical applications. These include:
Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) provides high tensile resistance and elongation values, with remarkable flexibility. It is tear and abrasion-resistant and offers chemical stability similar to silicone. It can also be sealed or mended with heat and withstands temperatures up to 200° F. TPE tubing is available in FDA and USP Class VI grades.
Fluoropolymers come in a variety of types for various medical applications. The material has high tensile strength, excellent flexibility, and resists a broad range of chemicals. Fluoropolymer tubing can withstand high pressures without bursting and has similar heat resistance to silicone.
Silicone offers many desirable features that make it highly advantageous over other materials. It features the highest biocompatibility and purity among common medical tubing materials, and its natural translucence, flexibility, lack of odor, and tastelessness make it ideal for various medical tubing applications. Silicone contains no latex, BPA, or phthalates. It is chemically stable, resists UV damage, and handles sterilization with temperature resistances between -100° F and 500° F. It can be colored when necessary and has excellent haptic properties that make it easy to handle.
Medical Grade Tubing Materials
Various factors such as performance features, cost, and the supplier are all crucial factors to consider when choosing the proper material for medical tubing. Another important factor in selecting medical tubing material is material compatibility. Incompatible tubing can cause various issues such as altering the medication or causing it to bind to the tube’s wall as it dispenses, resulting in failed patient delivery.
Medical grade silicone tubing is chemically inert and will not bond with or alter mediums passing through the tubing. It is also less costly than other medical grade materials.