Responding to a need for lay-flat tubing made from special polymers, Polyzen Inc. has introduced a thin-walled, small-diameter urethane tube. Usually, lay-flat tubing is made from an olefin based material such as polyethylene, which is synthetic. Urethane, on the other hand, is organic—a byproduct of fermentation. The tubes typically are more than 1.5 inches in lay-flat width, while Polyzen’s new product is less than 1 inch wide with a thin gauge.
Lay flat tubing is what it sounds like: tubing that, when not filled with anything else, lays flat on a surface. It is made from flexible plastic. In the medical world, this type of tubing is being used as sheaths that function as barriers for colonoscopes, endoscopes, speculums, probes and other devices that need protection from moisture, blood or bacteria. These sheaths are more cost effective than the severe cleaning or reprocessing required after the use of these instruments.
Polyzen can produce its lay flat tubing with a gauge range from 0.001 inch to 0.005 inch with a tolerance of +/- 25 percent thickness. The tubing also can be extruded at a width of 0.25 to 3 inches. Extrusions are performed in a class 10,000 clean room environment.
Polyzen is a Raleigh, N.C.-based company that manufactures critical disposable components and devices. It uses polymer processes such as dip molding, thin-film RF welding and medical balloon technologies.