- Author Hank Bastian
- Published July 15, 2012
- Word count 436
You may not realize it, but plastic extrusions have almost certainly made an impact on your life in one way or another. As a basic process, plastic extrusion is relatively simple, involving raw plastic material, melting, and forming. However, over the years the technology has advanced significantly, making the possibilities virtually endless when it comes to advanced applications calling for equally advanced solutions.
Paul Troester in Germany made the first thermoplastic extrusion in 1935. Followed by Roberto Colombo, who developed the first “twin screw” extruder to improve performance and efficiency, making the plastic extrusion process a truly modern one. Since then, many innovations have enabled the technology to accomplish quite a bit. Plastic extrusion makes a number of products, parts, and components possible – ranging from tubes and pipes to machine and automobile components. One of the most important advances in plastic extrusion technology has been the innovation of multilumen tubing.
Used in a number of absolutely critical medical application ranging from vascular intervention and access to endosurgery, Endoscopy, and Dialysis, multi lumen tubing came about due to the many applications requiring a single tube with multiple channels. Multilumen tubing typically involves two or more working channels that run the length of the tube, and given the constant innovation brought to the extrusion field over the years, the number of configurations available range from simple two channel tubes to complex four, five, and even six channel tubes. Ultimately, the possibilities are only limited to the outer diameter of the tube itself.
By providing multiple channels, multilumen tubing optimizes the management of fluid, and it’s not just for medical applications. Multilumen tubing also provides valuable support for fluid management in all kinds of mechanical and electrical applications as well.
Just imagine where we might be without multi lumen tubing. Loved ones around the world wouldn’t have access to reliable, flexible, and effective dialysis equipment. Beyond that, many of the healthcare products relied on every single day to actively save lives would be less effective and harder to manage. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the industrial world would also suffer. Without multilumen tubing, any application calling for multiple fluid channels in and out of a component would suffer, hurting potential performance.
So next time you’re in the hospital or operating a heavy piece of machinery, think to yourself, “what is plastic extrusion doing for me right now?” Chances are it has had a greater impact on your life than you might think. Whether in the form of an I.V. tube with multiple channels or a simple plastic extruded component you rely on every day.