dip molded cannulasHere at Piper Plastics, we proudly produce a wide range of medical components using our dip molding technology. One of the medical products most frequently manufactured is the dip molded nasal cannula.

What is a Nasal Cannula?

Used in every hospital across the US, you are sure to have seen nasal cannulas – both on television and in real life. A hollow plastic tube with two prongs that are inserted into the nose and connected to an oxygen source or concentrator, the nasal cannula is worn by patients during surgery, in recovery and whenever more O2 is needed.

What Features are Most Important?

Obviously, the very most important feature to consider when creating a nasal cannula is patient comfort. Since patients can be wearing a nasal cannula for a long time, it’s important for the device to be made from biocompatible materials. Additionally, the softer the part, the more comfortable it will be.  Finally, a smooth external surface is preferable to one with seams that can irritate the patient.

Why Choose Dip Molding?

Although injection molding is a more commonly used process than dip molding, dip molding does have some clear advantages for producing nasal cannulas. It becomes very difficult to mold soft material using injection molding techniques, whereas dip-molding is a perfect fit for lower durometer materials.  Also, there are always parting lines somewhere on an injection nasal cannula.

In contrast, dip molding is a process that produces parts with a completely smooth exterior, eliminating any sources of irritation. An additional benefit of dip molding is that it is a simpler manufacturing process than injection molding, and therefore becomes a cost effective way to create prototypes and small batches of products.

Dip molding is a reliable and affordable technique that creates comfortable and durable nasal cannulas (as well as a wide variety of other medical products), and continues to play an important role in the medical device industry. Companies looking to improve the comfort of their nasal cannulas, while maintaining competitive production costs, should be considering dip molding as an option.

To learn more about Piper Plastic’s dip molding techniques and experience, please call us at 800-966-9919. We have been creating nasal cannulas since 1972 and are always happy to work with individuals looking to improve their manufacturing techniques!

Interested in the other types of medical products we manufacture? Click here to read our recent blog post on the topic.

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