IVD & Diagnostic Tube Materials
The following information and material data indicate averages and commonly accepted properties. These values are estimates and may vary extensively depending on the grade of material used, method of fabrication, or additives included.
To get help selecting the best material for your tubing application:
Ethylene Chlorotrifluoroethylene (ECTFE)
ECTFE has excellent chemical resistance properties in highly corrosive applications. It is also resistant to acids at high concentrations and temperatures, oxidizing agents, and many solvents.
- Tensile strength: 48 MPa (6950 psi)
- Working temperature range: -76°C to 150°C (-105°F to 302°F)
Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE)
ETFE, also called Tefzel® has high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range. It has excellent chemical, electrical, and high-energy radiation resistance properties. This copolymer has much higher impact strength and resistance to abrasion than PTFE, but is less flexible. ETFE does not react with most solvents, which makes it an excellent choice for many analytical chemical, blood diagnostic, and research laboratory applications.
- Tensile strength: 42 MPa (6100 psi)
- Working temperature range: -100°C to 150°C (-148°F to 302°F)
- Melting point: 280°C (536°F)
Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene (FEP)
FEP has many properties similar to PTFE but is more transparent.
- Working temperature range: -240°C to 200°C (-400°F to 392°F)
- Tensile strength: 34 MPa (4900 psi)
- Melting point: 270°C (518°F)
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE is known for its large strength-to-density ratio.
- Resistant to many different solvent and has a wide variety of applications
- Tensile strength: 11-43 MPa (1600-6250 psi)
- Melting point: 137°C (279°F)
- Working temperature range: -200°C to 120°C (-328°F to 248°F)
Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE has a lower tensile strength and higher resilience than HDPE.
- Excellent resistance to concentrated acids, alcohols, bases and esters
- Best used in low pressure and low temperature applications
- Tensile strength: 9-18 MPa (1310-2610 psi)
- Melting point: 113°C (235°F)
Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK)
PEEK is a very strong material that is often used in place of metals or glass for its high performance characteristics.
- Tensile strength: 90-100 MPa
- Working temperature max: 320°C (608°F)
- Melting point: 343°C (649°F)
- Excellent mechanical and chemical resistance properties that are maintained into high temperatures
Perfluoroalkoxy Alkanes (PFA)
PFA has similar properties to PTFE but with improved flexibility and clarity.
- Commonly used as an inert material for sampling equipment in analytical chemistry
- Tensile strength: 28 MPa (4000 psi)
- Melting point: 315°C (599°F)
- Working temperature range: -200°C to 260°C (-328°F to 500°F)
The best known brand name of PTFE is Teflon®, a product of Chemours™, which is a spin-off of DuPont™ since 2015.
- Tensile strength: 35 MPa (5000 psi)
- Melting point: 327°C (620°F)
- Working temperature range: -240°C to 260°C (-400°F to 500°F)
- PTFE is hydrophobic, which essentially means that it repels water and will not become “wet”
- It has one of the lowest coefficients of friction of any solid, which means it has a very “slick” feel and is often used as a “non-stick” coating
- These “frictionless” qualities allow for improved flow rates of highly viscous liquids
- The most useful properties are resistance to corrosion, low surface friction, and high heat resistance
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC is cheap, extremely common, and can be rigid or flexible.
- Melting point: 260°C (500°F)
- Glass transition temperature: 82°C (180°F)
- Yield strength (tensile strength) for rigid PVC: 31-60 MPa
- Yield strength (tensile strength) for flexible PVC: 10-25 MPa
- PVC has high chemical resistance to acids, bases, and alcohols, but in many cases is less resistant to solvents
- This polymer has very good mechanical properties, but typically has very low thermal properties
- A heat stabilizer is often added to increase the maximum operating temperature
- Flexible PVC is used in many single-use healthcare applications, such as containers and tubing for blood and blood components, for urine collection, catheters, and heart/lung bypass sets. The properties that make PVC so popular in this field are its cost-effectiveness, transparency, light weight, tear strength, and suitability for sterilization.
Polyvinylidene Fluoride or Polyvinylidene Difluoride (PVDF)
PVDF is a highly pure specialty plastic, with resistance properties to solvents, acids, and hydrocarbons.
- Max working temperature: 130°C (266°F)
- Melting point: 172°C (342°F)
- Tensile strength: 17-48 MPa (2450 – 6950 psi)
This includes a group of polymers that have a wide variety of industrial uses. The popularity of this group is due to their outstanding temperature stability, excellent flexibility, and high resistance to weathering and many chemicals.
This material is a registered trademark of Saint-Gobain Corporation. It typically is clear, flexible, and has very good chemical resistance properties. There are many different grades or formulations of Tygon®, so some variations may be better suited to your application than others.
- Excellent chemical resistance to acids, bases, alcohols, salts, and ketones. This flexible tubing is designed for use with harsh chemicals while still having good clarity and flexibility. Maximum operating temperature 54°C. Tensile strength 13.1 MPa.
- This tubing is an excellent choice for biological and pharmaceutical applications. There is essentially no absorption into the material and it is not affected by cleaners or sanitizers. This tubing meets the ISO 10993 biocompatibility standards. The operating temperature range is -70°C to 52°C.
- A great choice for peristaltic pump applications and complex laboratory set-ups as it is soft and flexible, which allows it to fit sharp radius curves and multiple directional changes. This tubing resists twisting and collapse, has high clarity, and retains its flexibility even in low temperatures. It is resistant to many corrosive chemicals used in laboratories and meets FDA requirements for food contact. Operating temperature range from -55°C to 52°C.
- Compatible with 100% ethanol and lubricating oil or grease for a variety of small engine applications. It has multiple layers to resist cracking or swelling. This tubing also has a wide operating temperature range from -29°C to 82°C. Tensile strength 16.5 MPa.
- Designed for applications such as dialysis, chemotherapy, minimally invasive surgeries, and other blood contact medical device needs. This is a biocompatible, non-DEHP, polymer material that can withstand gamma sterilization. The working temperature range is from -42°C to 74°C. Tensile strength 14.3 MPa.
- This non-DEHP tubing has been designed with a high durometer that allows it to be produced as small diameter tubing with a high resistance to kinking and collapse. It’s available in extremely small sizes for use in catheters, intravenous infusion, or other surgical and non-surgical applications. The operating temperature range is from -35°C to 85°C. Tensile strength 18.1 MPa.
- Specially formulated for beverage transfer. The properties of this grade prevent any taste or odor from affecting the fluid flowing through it. It is also designed to ensure easy drainage and cleaning to minimize the potential for bacteria growth, with high clarity to allow for visual inspection. Maximum operating temperature 74°C. Tensile strength 15.2 MPa.
- This tubing has an exceptionally smooth inner surface for use in high-purity applications where the prevention of particle buildup is essential during fluid transfer. It is platinum cured, and tested to ISO 10993 standards for biocompatibility. Operating temperature range from -80°C to 204°C. Tensile strength 10.0 MPa.
- A combination of flexibility, chemical resistance, and reliability to withstand repeated use of peristaltic pump cycles. This tubing formulation is ideal for water and environmental fluid analysis. Maximum operating temperature 135°C.