All You Need to Know About TPE Tubing
03 July 21
Everything About TPE Tubing
Every year, thousands of laryngectomies and tracheotomies are carried out. Such procedures result in functional upper airway loss. Speaking aids and tracheostomy tubes are a necessity and there several ultra-modern aids and tubes are available in the industry. TPE tubing is tailored according to the requirements and demands of different patients. Metal tubing is also available, but they are rigid and the walls are thin. The inner volume of metal tubing is larger than plastic and silicone tubes, featuring thicker walls and a minimal inner volume limit.
In our today’s guide, we will share all you need to know about TPE tubes. We will share the benefits for which these tubes are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the medical industry.
Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE Tubing)
Tube wearers can get the advantage of soft plastic tubes because of the many advantages they offer. Plastic is beneficial in many ways than metal tubes. The primary reason for using TPE tubing over metal is that we cannot insert metal tubes during the radiotherapy because tracheostomy tubing reflections possibly prevent the calculated dose of radiation.
Usually, PVC is the most commonly selected material to manufacture plastic tracheostomy tubing in the medical industry. However, several customers are now demanding a solution that is free of plasticizers and PVC. All technical medical tubing applications must meet diverse requirements because of their applications in sensitive areas.
TPEs (thermoplastic elastomers offer excellent processability, making them suitable for all conventional extrusion plants and injection molding. They are cost-effective and have lower emissions and reliable reusability.
Here are the different use cases of TPE tubing in different industries:
Medical Industry: Breathing tubes, catheters, valves, bags and ventilation masks, seals, and syringe seals seven tips.
Automotive: Shock boots, weather seals, interior and exterior parts, instrument panels, low/high-pressure pipes, air ducts, pipe grommets, O-rings, and more.
Construction: Windows and doors extruded seals, co-molded or simple hydraulic seals, and pipe seals, etc.
Industrial: Exhaust manifolds and inlet pipes, suspension drum bushes, roof membranes, anti-vibration mounts, and shock absorbers, etc.
Apart from the above-discussed applications, TPE tubing also has different uses in the electronics and sporting goods & footwear industries.
What makes it TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)?
There are certain characteristics that material must meet to be a TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). First of all, the material must be able to stretch to reasonable elongations and must return to its original shape after removing the stress. There must be no major creep in the material. Creep is the solid material’s tendency to deform permanently or move slowly under mechanical stress influence.
Lastly, you must be able to process the material in a melted condition at an elevated temperature. If the material possesses all these qualities, then you can call it a TPE. If any of these characteristics is missing, you should not choose them for your product.
Advantages of TPE Tubing
There are so many advantages of using TPE tubes over other types of tubing. Here are the key benefits for which thermoplastic elastomer tubes have become a great alternative to conventional tubing in different industries.
1. Versatility in Compounds and Sizing
The versatility of TPEs makes them so special among all tubing materials available. You can find thermoplastic elastomer tubes from jelly-like soft to hard and rigid, according to the end-use of your product. TPE tubes are also available in various sizes and compounds with different wall thicknesses. Therefore, thermoplastic elastomers are highly versatile, when it comes to sizes and compounds.
2. Flame and Chemical Resistant
Another advantage of thermoplastic elastomers is that you can make the material flame-retardant. Additionally, TPE products also possess exceptional thermal stability and properties against different environmental effects and temperatures. Because the material has great stability against different materials and temperatures, so the product quality will be very high. Flam and chemical resistance capabilities of TPE tubing make it an ideal choice for the medical industry. These are the traits that other tubing materials do not possess.
TPE material for tubing is also known for enhanced consistency in fabricated products and raw materials. Thermoplastic elastomer material needs zero or little compounding. There is also no need for reinforced agents, cure systems, or stabilizers. Therefore, the consistency of TPE tubes makes them an exceptional choice for various industries.
TPEs are eco-friendly because they are manufactured with recyclable non-toxic plastics. We can recycle thermoplastic elastomer materials by extruding or molding. Moreover, thermoplastic elastomers take less production energy. It is another benefit for the environmental footprint.
5. Medical and Beverage/Food Industry Safe
Thermoplastic elastomers are safe for both beverage/food and medical industries. They are usually USP, NSF, and FDA-approved material compounds. Therefore, you can stay ensured that these materials are safe and are reliable for different industries due to easy sterilization.
TPE tubing is cost-effective and an efficient replacement to PVC (polyvinyl chloride), silicon, and latex compounds. Therefore, you can use it as a cost-effective alternative to different silicon and latex tubing applications. They are cost-effective, but still possess many extra advantages over other materials. It is one of the top reasons why it is commonly used in different industries as a tubing material.
7. Color Matching and Melt Properties
You can easily color thermoplastic elastomers using most dyes. Therefore, you can get TPEs in a broad range of colors and finishes. It is possible to process melted thermoplastic elastomers at an elevated temperature. Therefore, thermoplastic elastomers become an excellent material for high-volume extrusion and injection molding.
The worldwide demand for thermoplastic elastomers was around 680000 tons a year in 1990. But now, its growth rate is about 9% per year. With this growth rate, it is obvious that most manufacturers are now interested in TPE tubing for product innovations. Thermoplastic elastomers are now the foundation for various successful products. This material is cost-effective, eco-friendly, versatile, and consistent. Therefore, you can choose thermoplastic elastomers for your product manufacturing needs.
We hope you have now learned all the important things about thermoplastic elastomers and tubing. You can contact us if you want to learn more about this material.