Straining for Relief

Posted on July 12, 2017

As I put fingers to keyboard to write this blog, I’ve recently thrown away my second lightning charging cable since purchasing a new smart device late last year. To say that writing a blog about strain relief was kismet before pitching the cable in the waste can, has to be the understatement of 2017. All of which is a near-perfect segue into the importance of strain relief solutions for plastic tubing assemblies.

If it helps, think of strain relief as a boot or jacket one slips over a delicate plastic tube, increasing its life and mitigating leaks.

In the world of in vitro diagnostics, strain relief solutions relieve tubing of stresses and tensions that may cause the tubing to bend, kink or twist — thereby limiting its inner diameter and impeding fluid flow — which could lead to leaking.

Factors to consider when incorporating strain relief solutions into a design include the size and material of the tubing, the mobility requirement for the tubing, the interaction of the strain relief material with the tubing, and the space available inside the instrument. Standard strain relief options might include springs, spiral wrap, heat shrink or formed plastic sleeves. Another option is to thermoform the entire assembly to avoid unwanted compression.

In addition to limiting leaks, the benefits of strain relief solutions include:

  • Enhancing flex-life performance by limiting over-flexing
  • Preventing kinking
  • Mitigating abrasion
  • Promoting positive fluid flow

For design engineers working on next generation diagnostic instruments, incorporating strain relief solutions early into a design may help one to achieve the accuracy, performance and cost parameters of a project.

Diba delivers exceptional fluidic outcomes across an entire system fluid path. Our proven expertise designing and manufacturing precision fluidic handling systems ensures optimized performance, reliability, and superb field serviceability of instruments in laboratories around the world.

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