Foster Corporation has introduced ProPell thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and polyether block amide (PEBA) compounds for improved manufacturing and handling of medical catheters. These new compounds dramatically reduce tackiness and friction in soft, flexible polymers while maintaining other physical properties of the unmodified polymers.
Soft grades of TPU and PEBA polymers, with hardness properties ranging from 80 Shore A to 35 Shore D, are commonly used in medical catheters that require flexibility to navigate vascular pathways without causing trauma. Yet, the inherent high friction and tackiness of these polymers causes handling problems during catheter tube extrusion and packaging since the parts stick to each other. Catheters made from these materials can also be difficult for physicians to handle and push through vascular pathways.
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