As medical devices become smaller and more finite, to be suitable for minimally invasive surgeries done in the doctor’s office or surgical center, the challenge for design engineers is to reduce the size of the overall device going into the body. One common technique is to reduce the size of the catheter wall.
When working with PEBA or Nylon/Polyamide, or various urethanes or PVCs in various catheter applications, heat during the adhesive bonding process can start to affect the structural integrity of the tubing itself. Light-curable adhesives offer a number of advantages over other adhesive types based on the speed and ease of fabrication. Some bulb-style lamps on the market can occasionally generate enough heat that when curing the adhesive, start to warp the thin-walled plastic shaft within a few seconds. LED adhesives and lamps offer a significant advantage over some conventional adhesives and bulb-style lamps by limiting the wavelengths emitted by the lamp through use of LEDs designed to emit one narrow band of light. For example, the DYMAX LED Prime UVA is 385 nm +/- 10 nm. When combined with an adhesive designed for this lamp system, cure times can drop to 0.5 seconds. The limited time exposure, combined with the reduction in heat-producing wavelengths, reduce the chance for the thin-walled lamps to melt or warp.