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Ultra-Small Diameter Capillary Tubing

Monday, June 1, 2015

As technology evolves, so must the hardware utilized in advanced equipment. HandyTube Corporation, a premium manufacturer of seamless stainless steel tubing, has developed a product to support industries, such as healthcare and life sciences, requiring very small diameter, extremely precise characteristics.

Ultra-Small Diameter (USDTM) capillary tubing is manufactured to the highest quality standards and undergoes several cleaning processes to ensure the product’s consistent, reliable performance. Reaching inside diameters as small as 0.003 inches (0.076 mm) and coil lengths as long as 3,000 feet (900+ meters), the capillary tubing created as many challenges to produce as it did solutions for the market. Unique processes and equipment were designed, tested and re-tested to prove a formidable foe to many manufacturing pitfalls.

Tube manufacturing consists of three distinct operations:  drawing, to reduce the tube dimensions; cleaning, to remove drawing lubricants; and heat treatment, to reset the mechanical properties and prepare the tube for re-drawing. It is important that the tube is properly lubricated before the drawing process to promote smooth, defect-free surfaces.  The most challenging issue in developing USD™ capillary tubing was effectively cleaning stainless steel coil tubing in very long lengths with such small inner diameters. As length increases and inside diameter decreases, the pressure needed to push any medium through the coil tubing skyrockets. As a result, standard cleaning methods and equipment proved not effective in cleaning USDTM high precision products.

HandyTube has developed custom equipment to flush tubing at pressures upwards of 12,000 psi (827 bar). A solvent is used to remove drawing lubricants and foreign debris from the tubing. This specialized equipment allows HandyTube to process tubing in long coils, reducing setup time and increasing machine uptime.

Compare the cost associated with cleaning 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) of 20-foot-long (6 meters) traditional straight tubes. In order to clean small diameter straight lengths, 500 tubes would need to be flushed individually. With proprietary processing and extremely long lengths, HandyTube can achieve the same result by flushing less than five stainless steel coils. With the ability to qualitatively analyze the cleanliness of each coil, more consistent results can be achieved compared to traditional cleaning methods for straight length tubing.

What if you prefer straight length tubes? HandyTube has you covered. Our unique processing allows us to produce and clean in coil form and then straighten and cut to any desired length, saving time and money. HandyTube has worked directly with equipment manufacturers to provide a comprehensive tubing solution for small diameter, high-precision applications.

Contact HandyTube today to see how USDTM can improve performance in your application. sales@handytube.com

About HandyTube Corporation

HandyTube Corporation is a premium manufacturer of Xtreme Length™ seamless, stainless steel coil tubing for diverse industrial, manufacturing and research industries worldwide. Learn more about our company online at www.handytube.com.