As design engineers continue to seek ways to shrink medical devices while increasing functionality, micro extrusion is seen as a key enabling technology. But, as Bill Kramer, President of extrusion equipment supplier American Kuhne (Ashaway, RI), explains in an article published by PlasticsToday sister brand Qmed, it's not a simple process and requires expertise. For starters, simply scaling down a larger machine to extrude miniature tubing is not a workable solution.
Using a conventional extruder for micro-extrusion applications would require running the machine at speeds that fall below its typical comfort zone of 5 to 50 rpm. That may lead to material residence times that could compromise the properties of the polymer being processed. Kramer recommends using purpose-built small extruders to avoid material degradation. This is especially critical when processing bioresorbable materials, which are sensitive to high temperatures.
Read more about micro extruding medical parts in the article, "How to Get the Most Out of Microextrusion" published in Qmed.