Temperature-dependent tensile properties of polyamide 12 for the use in percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty balloon catheters

Amstutz, C.; Weisse, B.; Valet, S.; Haeberlin, A.; Burger, J.; Zurbuchen, A. (2021). Temperature-dependent tensile properties of polyamide 12 for the use in percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty balloon catheters. Biomedical engineering online, 20(1), p. 110. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12938-021-00947-8

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Background: Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) balloon catheters must withstand high pressures required for the lesion treatment, pushing loads during insertion, and pulling loads during withdrawal. These loads pose a challenge especially for polymeric tubular shafts with small cross sections. In order to enable new design innovations and to better understand the mechanics of current catheter technologies, the tensile properties of polyamide (PA) 12 were investigated. PA 12 dog bone specimens and medical PA 12 tubes were either stored at ambient temperature and humidity or conditioned in water, and subjected to tensile loads at different temperatures. In addition, the effect on the tensile properties of the necking process, a forming process to reduce the wall thickness of the tubes, was determined.

Results: The tested tubes showed a reduction in both Young's Modulus (- 41.5%) and yield stress (- 29.2%) compared to standardized specimens. Furthermore, an increase in temperature and water absorption softens the material and reduces the mechanical properties like the Young's Modulus and the yield stress. It was found that the material strengthens during the necking process. Likely due to the orientation of the polymers chain molecules in load direction (Rösler et al., 2007), the Young's Modulus of the material could be increased by 43.5%. Furthermore, the absence of a yield point after necking allows for a greater loading capacity of the material without unstable neck growth. Besides the strengthening, the ultimate strain is reduced by 50%. This indicates that the necking process induces plastic deformation.

Conclusion: The investigation showed that the environmental conditions like temperature and humidity can influence mechanical properties. It could also be shown that pre-forming processes such as necking can enhance the mechanical properties, such as the Young's Modulus, while reducing the wall thickness. These findings suggest possible further development of catheters with a small cross section and higher mechanical strength and highlight the importance to account for the targeted operating temperature during the design process.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Faculty Institutions > sitem Center for Translational Medicine and Biomedical Entrepreneurship
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiology

UniBE Contributor:

Amstutz, Cornelia Doreen, Häberlin, Andreas David Heinrich, Burger, Jürgen, Zurbuchen, Adrian


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




BioMed Central


[198] Innosuisse - Swiss Innovation Agency ; [76] Universitätsbibliothek Bern




Andreas Häberlin

Date Deposited:

29 Dec 2021 09:47

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:57

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Mechanical properties; Necking; PA 12; PTCA balloon catheter; Tensile testing.





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