Tubing for wound drainage can help prevent infection, promote faster healing, or manage fluid accumulation. (Credit: Guill Tool)

Tubing for wound draining is an essential medical component used to manage the drainage of fluids from surgical or traumatic wounds. This tubing is commonly employed after surgical procedures to facilitate the removal of excess fluids (such as blood or serous fluid) from the wound site, or in traumatic Injuries where there is a need to control and remove fluids to aid in the healing process. Other uses include draining abscesses or fluid collections, helping to prevent infection, and promote faster healing, or to manage fluid accumulation in body cavities, preventing complications like seromas or hematomas. By removing excess fluids, tubing promotes a cleaner wound environment, which is conducive to faster healing.

Drain tubes can be inserted prophylactically to prevent or remove the accumulation of fluid in a wound. Alternatively, such tubing can also be therapeutically inserted to evacuate an existing collection of fluid in a wound. Drain tubes can also be used to diagnose post-operative complications such as an anastomotic leak or hemorrhage.

Tubing for wound draining plays a critical role in postoperative care and wound management by preventing fluid buildup, reducing complications, and promoting a conducive environment for healing. The choice of tubing depends on the specific needs of the patient and the nature of the surgical or traumatic condition.

Product Innovation

Internal configurations of different designs used on wound drain and surgical tubing no longer require separate sections to be extruded, then joined. The Guill reciprocating head design produces various profiles within the tubing in a constant production run. (Credit: Guill Tool)

For many reasons, a tubing manufacturer may need or want to change a tubing profile during production. These changes could be driven by various factors, each aimed at improving the manufacturing process, product performance, or meeting specific customer requirements. The decision to change a tubing profile during production is often driven by a combination of factors, including a desire for innovation, market demands, cost-effectiveness, regulatory compliance, and improvements in efficiency or performance.

Product Improvement. Manufacturers may seek to enhance tubing performance, functionality, or design to stay competitive in the market. This could involve introducing new materials, modifying the geometry, or incorporating advanced features for improved efficiency or usability.

Cost Reduction. Changes in a tubing profile might be driven by a desire to optimize the manufacturing process and reduce production costs. This could involve using more cost-effective materials, altering the design to minimize waste, or improving the efficiency of production techniques.

Compliance. Changes in tubing profiles may be necessary to ensure compliance with industry standards, regulations, or specific customer requirements. Manufacturers may need to adjust the tubing to meet safety, quality, or environmental standards.

Customization. Some customers may require tubing with unique characteristics for specific applications. Manufacturers might alter the tubing profile to meet these specific needs, ensuring that the product is well-suited for its intended purpose.

A New Tubing Die

A new reciprocal tubing die reconfigures the internal chambers of the tubing to accommodate drainage. Designed by Guill, the die has unique features that eliminate the need to weld or otherwise join sections with different profiles together. It has been engineered with various features to address the needs of tubing manufacturers. The traditional tip-and-die assembly is replaced with a linear reciprocating assembly that changes the tube’s profile within a given length. This process is repeated throughout a single extrusion run without interruption. Cutting capability, in association with the extrusion speed, cuts the finished product to length.

This process enables the cost and value stream activities to be reduced, while quality is improved. A finished product can be produced in a single extrusion run, whereas other methods require multiple extrusion runs with tooling changes, along with a manual assembly operation to connect different tubing shapes via sonic welds or other joining methods. The new reciprocating head eliminates this entire assembly operation as well as in-process inventory. Thus, there is no need for storage of various tubing shapes and connectors needed for assembly, fulfillment of orders, and replenishment of finished goods. In addition, the design of the reciprocating head eliminates a connecting piece. It allows just-in-time production, enables products to be made to order and thus reduces total run time from receiving the order to shipping product.

Guill Series 800 tooling features the company’s patented, precision Feather Touch Concentricity adjustment and the Seal Right System.

Extrusion Performance

Multi-layer Extrusion. For multilayer extrusion, the company’s two-to six-layer extrusion tooling die has been designed to produce high-quality, material-efficient 1/8- to 6-in. OD tubing for medical and surgical applications. The redesigned tooling produces a smooth extrusion and layer definition of fluoropolymer and other materials for multi-layer, multi-lumen medical tubing. The design allows thin layer combinations of polymers and adhesives to 0.02 mm or less.

Single or Co-extrusion. Crossheads and in-line tubing dies in fixed and adjustable centers are suitable for single or co-extrusion applications. This type of tooling is designed to process all compounds. Guill’s tooling, for example, features the company’s patented, precision Feather Touch Concentricity adjustment and the Seal Right System, which combines with the Feather Touch System to eliminate polymer leaking. A unique spiral flow distribution system is also available.

The Series 900 is a spiderless in-line-designed head that results in no spider lines and allows room for more air — thus eliminating cold legs, which can inhibit product output.

A series of in-line tubing dies is designed to improve extrusion performance of hose or pipe ranging from 0.005 (0.127 mm) to 8.0 in. (635 mm) in diameter for medical and other applications in polymer or rubber. These dies achieve concentricity or “product roundness,” which greatly reduces material usage compared with other types of extrusion tooling. A spiderless in-line-designed head results in no spider lines and allows room for more air — thus eliminating cold legs, which can inhibit product output. They can run 1-5 layers simultaneously.

This series offers a standard platform design of the head with specific characteristics that are unique to individual applications. This could be a tremendous benefit to a company that requires precision tooling with custom benefits at a standard off-the-shelf price.

Summary

Technology in the medical field is constantly evolving and often requires an extensive array of medical-grade tubing in a variety of materials and thicknesses. Custom extrusion tooling can enable manufacturers to produce an unparalleled range of the highest quality medical tubing in the industry and address considerations such as improving the manufacturing process, product performance, or meeting specific customer requirements.

This article was written by Tom Baldock, Extrusion Sales Manager, Guill Tool & Engineering, West Warwick, RI. For more information, contact Baldock at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit here .