This technical information has been contributed by
Putnam Plastics

Medical Polymer Tubing Specialist Introduces Pad-Printed PEEK and Polyimide Extrusions for Catheter Applications

Putnam Plastics manufactures PEEK and thermoset polyimide extrusions for high-performance catheter applications. Before pad printing the components with graphics, the company uses a plasma pre-treatment process to ensure strong adhesion of the ink to the surface of the component.
Image courtesy of Putnam Plastics.

DAYVILLE, Conn.--Putnam Plastics ( recently announced that it has introduced pad printed PEEK and thermoset polyimide extrusions for high-performance catheter applications. After extruding the components, Putnam uses internally developed technologies (including the application of plasma) to pre-treat them before applying graphics via a pad printing process.

Graphics serve critical functions-- including product identification, location, and orientation during surgical procedures--on the exterior surfaces of minimally invasive medical devices. Pad printing is frequently used to print them on these surfaces, where strong adhesion of the ink to the device component is critical, according to Byron Flagg, product manager for extrusion and component finishing at Putnam Plastics. "Non-invasive vascular devices require integrity of the pad printed graphics for the proper identification and use of the device by clinicians," said Flagg. "Invasive devices require that particles of ink are not released from the device into the bloodstream which can lead to serious side effects or even death."

Because of their inherent strength and chemical resistance properties, PEEK and thermoset polyimide polymers are increasingly being used for minimally invasive applications. These same material properties, however, create greater challenges for pad printing. "Putnam Plastics' plasma pre-treatment makes the outer surface temporarily receptive to chemical adhesion of the pad printing ink," explained Flagg. While plasma pre-treatment increases ink adhesion on all plastics, it is of greatest value when used on polymers inherently resistant to thermal and chemical degradation such as PEEK and thermoset polyimide."

Putnam's plasma pre-treatment reportedly involves little to no heat transfer into the polymer component, thereby preserving its mechanical dimensions and properties. It involves no toxic chemicals, generates no toxic by-products, and reduces the need for toxic chemicals, such as solvents in the ink, according to the company.

"Putnam Plastics' ability to manufacture PEEK and thermoset polyimide tubing, plasma pre-treat the surface, and pad print the required graphics, results in shorter lead times and cost savings from a simplified supply chain," explained Flagg. "And, because all of the processes are managed by the same team of experienced manufacturing engineers, they can be optimized and matched for maximum performance."

This technical information has been contributed by
Putnam Plastics

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