Polyimides

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Polyimides (PI) are a group of high performing polymers known for their exceptional chemical, thermal, and mechanical properties. Polyimides are typically high strength, biocompatible, and show excellent thermal stability across high and low temperatures. This latter attribute especially is important for fine dimensioned polyimide parts that must maintain critical tolerances.

Similarly, the thermal stability of polyimides support their inherent resistance to stress cracking and good creep properties for long term use. Polyimides are comparatively poor conductors of heat and are highly resistant to burning making them well suited to applications such as aerospace where flammability is especially crucial. Polyimides exhibit excellent radiation resistance which can also be a particular benefit for the aerospace industry.

Polyimides show very good dielectric properties for coating wire and other insulating uses. Polyimides have a relatively low coefficient of friction comparable to fluoropolymers such as PVDF and ECTFE and some grades of FEP and PTFE. This low coefficient of friction contributes to the excellent wear characteristics of most polyimides.

These qualities and more have led to polyimides utilized in a wide range of industries spanning medical, aerospace, automotive, sensor technology, semi-conductors, chemical applications, and much more.

Zeus offers polyimide in fine dimensioned tubing and as a coating over wire (PI insulated wire). Polyimide is also available in a high lubricity version, PI Glide™, a PI / PTFE composite. PI Glide™

is an excellent alternative for applications that require a more lubricious surface. PI Glide™ maintains broad chemical resistance and good dielectric properties in addition to its improved coefficient of friction.

PI and PI Glide™ can be provided in a layered construction to customize the coating or tubing’s properties. As a layered construction, for example, polyimide tubing could be produced with a lubricious PI Glide™ inside diameter (ID) and a bondable PI outside diameter (OD). Generally amber in color (natural), polyimide is also available in dark colors.

Contact us or call toll-free in the US 1-800-526-3842 or +1-803-268-9500 internationally today to see how we can develop a precision solution to give you a competitive advantage or to request prototyping samples.

Note: The information in the Zeus catalog, website, and other sources presents and discusses generally accepted properties for non-pigmented virgin polymer resins from which Zeus fabricates its line of polyimide products. Actual properties may change due to processing method, resin grade, product dimensions, and other variables. It is the end user’s responsibility to fully evaluate and test the fitness of each product for their specific application.

  • APPLICATIONS

    Catheters – Polyimide tubing can be used for vascular and urinary catheter constructions. With extremely small sizing capabilities, polyimide tubing can be produced to reach the smallest vasculatures yet retain strength and rigidity for pushability. PI Glide™ tubing ID enhances interior lubricity.

    Lead Wire (Insulated Wire) – PI and PI Glide™ coatings for wires provide excellent dielectric benefit and abrasion resistance. Polyimide coatings can be applied to copper, silver plated copper, nitinol, and stainless steel wire. Coating with PI Glide™ lowers surface friction for the coated wire.

    Lumen For Guidewires – Polyimide tubing, with its thin walls and sufficient stiffness, provides an excellent lumen through which to pass guidewires for vascular interventions. Similar to PI tubing for catheter shafts, using PI Glide™ for the guidewire lumen improves deliverability and abrasion resistance.

    Release Mandrels – PI Glide™ coated mandrels provide sufficient lubricity for easy removal at the conclusion of the build process.

  • PRODUCTS

    Composite / Layered Construction – Polyimide can be provided in layered constructions (composites) to further customize tubing or coating properties. Polyimide and PI Glide™ can both be utilized for composite constructions and can be combined in the same composite. For example, a PI Glide™ tubing ID can provide enhanced lubricity while a polyimide OD can be utilized for a bondable outer surface.

    Insulated Wire (Coated Wire; Over-The-Wire) – Polyimide insulated wire (coated wire; over-the-wire) provides a lubricious insulating coating for electrical leads for medical and non-medical applications. Polyimide coatings can be applied in extremely thin layers to keep diameter sizes to a minimum.

    Tubing – Polyimide can be used for a variety of different tubing types to either carry corrosive chemicals or for use as a catheter shaft or lumen for urinary, vascular, or gastrointestinal endoscopy devices. PI Glide™ tubing ID supports low deployment force for device insertion within the tube, and PI tubing has strength for pushability. Polyimide tubing can be provided in extremely small dimensions.

  • KEY PROPERTIES

    Abrasion Resistance – Polyimide possesses excellent resistance to abrasion and has wear properties rivalling even those of PEEK.

    Chemical Resistance – Polyimides are chemically resistant to acids, hydrocarbons, and common solvents.

    Class VI Biocompatibility – Polyimide family products (including PI Glide™) are biocompatible for use within the body.

    Coefficient Of Friction – PI Glide™ possesses a low coefficient of friction for ease of insertion of coated wires, tools, and other micro-sized devices within a tube.

    Dielectric Properties – Polyimides display very good dielectric properties, meaning they also provide insulation in addition to physical and mechanical protection.

    Tensile Strength – Polyimides as a family are known for their high strength, and Zeus polyimide products show exceptional tensile strength even at very small dimensions.

    Thermal Stability – Polyimide materials exhibit exceptional thermal stability through both high and low temperatures.

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