Learning Custom Medical Cable Assembly Materials

Custom medical cable assemblies are made of plastics and metals. It is your job as an engineer to leverage these materials in order to create functional, cost effective cable assemblies. Plastic materials insulate conductors, provide connector structure, and can create flexible lumens for fluidics. Metals are used as conductors and for high durability components. As a starting point let’s look at a low cost disposable example and then increase the performance requirements and learn how the materials need to change.
 

Low-Cost Medical Disposable Cable Assemblies

  • Performance requirements
  • Sterilization method: Non sterile, EO, or gamma
  • Single use
  • Materials
  • Flexible insulators or components: PVC
  • Rigid structural components: ABS, ABS/PC blend, or PBT
  • Cable conductors: low strand count tin plated or bare copper
  • Electrical contacts: Copper alloys with nickel or gold flash plating

 

Semi Reusable Medical Cable Assemblies

  • Performance requirements
  • Sterilization method: Wipe down, autoclave, and or Sterrad
  • Reusable 50+ times
  • Materials
  • Flexible insulators or components: FEP, TPV, or TPU
  • Rigid structural components: PC, PSU, or PESU
  • Cable conductors: high strand count tin or silver plated copper
  • Electrical contacts: Copper alloys with gold plating

 

Reusable Medical Cable Assemblies

  • Performance requirements
  • Sterilization method: Wipe down, immersion bath, autoclave, and or Sterrad
  • Reusable 500+ times
  • Materials
  • Flexible insulators or components: PFA, PTFE, ETFE, silicone and other rubber-like materials
  • Rigid structural components: Stainless steel, copper alloys, PEEK, PPSU, LCP, PPS, PTFE
  • Cable conductors: High strength silver plated copper alloys
  • Electrical contacts: Copper alloys with heavy gold plating

 
Understanding the application requirements of your medical cable assembly will drive the material selection. These categories provide some basic guidelines but depending on the exact application, materials may float between the above medical cable assembly categories.
 
At Global Interconnect engineers will work as an extension of your in house engineering team to understand the application and provide expert material selection recommendations. Are you interested in learning more about specific examples of how we have help? Click here to view case studies.