RF Thermoform Process Development

RF Welding and Tipping of Medical Catheters

RF Tipping

Radio frequency (RF) technology is ideally suited for welding and forming medical catheter tubing, balloons and tips. RF technology provides a smooth, molecular bond between two similar thermoplastics resulting in a continuous finished device with atraumatic surfaces. Since the process requires only seconds to achieve an excellent weld or tip, RF technology can be used for prototypes and high volume production. Medical catheters are often comprised of multiple components that provide unique properties from the proximal to distal end of the device. Proximal ends are often more rigid for enhanced pushability and torque. These segments may require multilayer tubing with wire reinforcements to improve physical properties. In contrast, the distal end must be highly flexible to navigate complex vascular pathways. This requires softer materials with less rigidity. Distal tips are often formed to minimize trauma and allow for the necessary functionality. Smooth, seamless welding and forming of these discrete components into a single part is essential for the success of modern medical catheters. Radiofrequency welding is ideally suited for these applications.

Pelham’s RF Welding & Forming Advantage

Pelham’s radiofrequency (RF) welding and forming technology for medical catheters is reliable and repeatable. This is achieved with precise control of temperatures, times and pressures. Our systems are designed with thermocouple feedback loops to maintain precise control of die temperatures from the RF energy source. Heat time is controlled via the use of a PLC/program. Our welding and tipping systems are designed for virtually every size catheter, including 3 to 34 French sizes, and virtually all thermoplastic materials commonly used for catheters. The equipment we use has controls that are quantifiable and easily validated to qualify any critical thermoform process. Since we have equipment with high control accuracy, this allows us to qualify processes to satisfy production requirements and guarantee a quality product is built to specification and performs the way it was designed to. This keeps manufacturing cost down for you.

Randy Prior, Plastics Engineer and RF (Radio Frequency) Specialist, heads up our efforts for RF Thermoform Process Development.  All tooling is designed in house and built to the customers specification for engineering development or production.

  • Taper Tips
  • Radius Tips
  • Soft Tips
  • Closed End Tips
  • Dilator Tips
  • Flaring
  • Neck Downs
  • Butt Welds
  • Overlap Welds
  • Braid to Non-Braid Welds
  • Single/Multilumen Applications
  • Marker Band Embedding/Placement