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Five Things to Consider When Choosing A Coated Mandrel

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Coated mandrels are one of the vital products to increase the output in the development of catheter devices. A mandrel is used as a wire inserted into a catheter—or any other medical tubing—and provides a hollow structure with advanced rigidity and support.

Mandrels have a wide variety of applications, mainly catheter fuse welding, catheter forming, interventional, neuro, laparoscopic, arthroscopic, tipping operations, extrusion mandrels—used in catheter tubing to provide a smooth surface and rapid production—etc. One of the reasons why particular medical devices very frequently require coated mandrels is because the mandrels can retain tolerances during manufacturing—it is one of its key features. One more reason can be the support that mandrels provide for the thin walls.

A coated mandrel also proves to be an excellent—and commonly used—catheter shaft manufacturing tool because it can simplify the removal of the catheter, limit shrinking while the reflow process occurs, and permit faster and advanced catheter production—these are the factors that we are going to discuss in detail later in the article.

Throughout the years, coating options in the market for medical devices have increased rapidly. The increase in the options is due to the required improvement in the production processes. With a variety of options available in the perfect competition, it can be a pretty daunting task to choose the best-coated mandrel that matches your unique needs of manufacturing.

Therefore, below are the five things that you must—it is suggested—consider when you are on the way to choose a coated mandrel. These five factors are going to make your decision a lot easier.

Think About the End Product

This process of making a decision is called working backward. While choosing a coated mandrel, you won’t only think about its specifications and provisions but also consider how it will affect the development of the end product—something which you need a mandrel for. Of course, it is always the end product that determines the quality of the production and development process.

First of all, you need to make sure what primary goals you expect from the device. Then, decide whether you are producing a delivery system with multiple lumens or going for an extrusion over a multi-tapered mandrel. Deciding the former would help you know how your end product will be used to identify the key features of the coated mandrel.

Create a List of What Your Requirements

Make a list of your required features that you ought to have in a coated mandrel. Write all the types of durometers of polymers needed to reach the distal and proximal performance of shaft—including steerability and kink resistance.

You must also understand the process of reflow that operates temperatures and affect each polymer. For instance, some PTFE coatings on a mandrel can go through 550-degree Fahrenheit of continuous temperature, allowing the excursions to around 700-degree Fahrenheit.

Consider Your Options

Now that you are a little bit familiar with all the temperature ranges you are allowed to work with, it would be relatively easier for you to pin-point the coated mandrel you are going to get. However, there are other factors to be considered.

The primary step when getting something is to make sure how it will reduce the costs and provide value for money. That can be done when you consider one option over another. However, all the options would require your consideration—making sure to know what kind of benefits and characteristics one mandrel would provide over another and how it will help you in the production process.

It is best if you can reach a vendor who is capable of providing different kinds of mandrel, including stainless steel, silver-plated copper, or nitinol. That way, you can test each option and determine its capability according to your needs.

The Factor of Required Lubricity

Lubricity is one of the most important factors to consider while choosing a mandrel. Identifying how much lubricity is required can help you ensure that the coating process would result in a longer lifetime for the mandrel.

One thing that needs your attention when it comes to lubricity requirements is the process that your mandrel would be involved in. The Guidewires and pull wires that are used in the interventional process must be able to navigate through the catheter’s inner diameters smoothly. That can only happen if the lubricity is high, thus, producing high-end lubricious coating, similar to PTFE imperative. Other PTFE variations are also suitable, but not as good. PTFE fluoropolymer coatings, like PTFE Natural, can provide performance characteristics such as accomplishing a 0.05 coefficient of friction in a simple process of catheter removal in tipping or fuse welding operations.

Key Features You Must Look for

The endgame is always decided on the features a product can provide. Whatever system you are designing with a coated mandrel, always look for the device that can produce an accurate, unvarying, and lustrous finish. That can happen if the mandrel you are choosing provides the majority of the key features below.

  1. Abrasion-proof
  2. Chemically inert
  3. Chemical resistance
  4. Close tolerances
  5. Rust-proof
  6. Biocompatibility


For a lubricious, similar to PTFE, coating, one must consider all of the things above while choosing a coated mandrel—it is a must because the lubricious coating has come to be of a great deal of importance in the catheter production and development process. However, the above ones are not the only, but primary factors to consider. One of the other factors that you can consider to provide value to your cost is durability; it is also essential to ensure the safety of components—you don’t need to increase your costs on unreliable devices.

A coated mandrel should also be performance-oriented. That means the performance should be ensured for the components of the final device. That is why it was suggested in the 3rd point that you first test, if possible, all your options before seriously considering them.

Coated Mandrels are delicate instruments and easy to get wrong. This is why our team of experts and engineers combine to make the perfect product for our partners in order to ensure maximum customer satisfaction with a high quality product deemed to be the best.

Being a certified producer that is registered with the FDA and has ISO certifications: Minnesota MedTec assures there are no compromises in quality. Orders in large bulk are also available as well as the availability of global shipping to ensure that our products reach every corner of the globe.