Seeing is Believing: Hypodermic Tubing Samples

Hypodermic Sample Card FRONT 1-30-2018Most researchers we work with don’t order a 60″ piece of hypodermic tubing from us because that’s exactly the size they need. They order it because it’s the industry standard, and they’ll figure out how to make it work for their application once it reaches the lab. But as the resource for R&D, that’s not good enough for us at Component Supply.  We know there is a better way. That’s why our fabrication division exists. CS Custom Fab can cut, deburr and clean this material to our customers’ specifications with speed, affordability, and precision.

But we know our R&D friends are busy, and the extra steps of requesting a quote or sending a drawing are sometimes cumbersome – especially if you don’t know what you’re getting. So, we’ve decided to send you a sample of our straight and bevel cut hypo tube whenever you purchase any quantity of hypodermic tubing. We’ve always believed that it is our responsibility to put the best components in the hands of the brightest researchers and product designers so they can change the world. We just had to get these samples into your hands so you can see exactly what we do in CS Custom Fab that makes the work of our customers so much more efficient.

One more thing: we treat our stock cut pieces the same way: These pieces are cut, deburred and cleaned just like our custom jobs but with no minimum. We look forward to hearing from you!

The mission of Component Supply is to be a resource for reseachers and product designers by connecting them with the components and knowledge they need to change the world.

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What is CS Custom Fab?

Part Ends-bluebgAt Component Supply, we pride ourselves on being a resource for research and development with our comprehensive offerings, short lead times and low minimums. But, sometimes that’s not enough. Most of our customers don’t need a 60” piece of hypodermic tubing, a 72” piece of wire or a linear yard of mesh. The material needs some secondary operation performed on it for their application.

That’s where CS Custom Fab comes in by specializing in the quick, efficient modification and fabrication of parts for both research and production. Our long history of working closely with researchers and developers enables us to understand how a modified component can streamline a design or process. We work with engineers who are designing products in the earliest stages of development, and we enjoy the challenges that come with adjusting their designs. We excel at developing efficiencies in production to keep up with increased demands. Our ability to draw from various products and the depth of material we have on hand allow us to meet the production needs of our customers. Component Supply’s Custom Fab engineers can help you work through an idea you are pursuing, provide insight into your drawings and produce quality products quickly.

At Component Supply, we understand the challenges facing research labs. Knowing the stress of budget constraints, fast-approaching deadlines and rising expectations in technological advancement, our Supply and Custom Fab divisions are assisting from the earliest prototyping stages through the transition into production. It’s just another way we fulfill our mission to connect researchers and product designers with the components and knowledge they need to change the world.

Posted in Custom Fab, hypodermic tube, hypodermic tubing, Nylon filter mesh, nylon mesh screen, stainless steel hypodermic tubing, straightened wire | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on What is CS Custom Fab?

Component Supply’s 2017 In Review

The year of 2017 was full of changes for Component Supply. While we purchased our new facility in Tennessee in the fall of 2016, it was another four months before our Florida location closed its doors on a Friday afternoon to transition to its new home almost 700 miles away over a normal weekend. During those four months between the purchase and the move, our production manager oversaw a complete renovation of our new warehouse, including the build out of rooms dedicated to custom fabrication and needle production. Then, when it was finally time, a small team spent 48 hours setting up racking, installing new systems and organizing inventory so we could reopen for business on a cold Monday morning in Tennessee. It wasn’t a seamless transition, but it was close.

Then one by one, our employees and their families moved up and settled into a new community.  We had to say some hard good-byes to a few faithful employees who couldn’t make the move, and since then, we’ve welcomed a few new people to our team.

While our zip code changed in 2017, nothing’s changed about our commitment to R & D…

except that it’s stronger than ever.

Our new space and ever-growing capabilities have inspired a deeper level of responsibility to our researchers and product designers. We want to provide the highest-quality components, with the fastest lead times for fabricated parts and the lowest minimums. We still never want to let a project die because we somehow failed in our commitment to research and development. Instead, we want to support our researchers and designers on the front end and stay by their side as they transition to production. We believe that by connecting them with the right components and knowledge, they can change the world.

Thank you for choosing us as your resource for R & D for 2017. We look forward to working with you in the coming year.

The Mission of Component Supply is to be a resource for reseachers and product designers by connecting them with the components and knowledge they need to change the world. 

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New Space for Custom Needles

Moving our operations to Tennessee has given us many advantages and opportunities we did not have before. For example, the Custom Fab division of Component Supply has been making custom needles for our customers for years but with our new facility came some exciting changes. First, we have increased our production capacity by over 400%. This not only allows us to supply larger quantities more competitively but also to reduce lead time, even the small prototype requests. We also built a space dedicated to needle production that has conditioned air filtered through a HEPA-filter and is slightly pressurized to keep dust and airborne particulates out. This allows us to maintain a clean glue bed for the needles. Adhesive specialists have come to help us determine the best adhesives to use and we’ve built some proprietary equipment that has increased the quality and efficiency of processing our custom dispensing needles. We are conducting pull tests at three times what our customers are requesting for stainless steel and five times what is requested for PTFE.

Because of the large volume of requests for our custom needles, we prioritized the expansion of our operation, not only in the capacity to produce larger quantities more efficiently but also in our capabilities for bends, needles with stops, PTFE needles, thin and extra thin wall and custom tip options. In 2018, we plan to release images of some of the work we’ve been doing for our customers in the world of custom needles, so please keep checking back for more updates of our needles.

The mission of Component Supply is to be a resource for researchers and product designers by connecting them with the components and knowledge they need to change the world.

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Supplying Hypodermic Tubing the Component Supply Way

We have been supplying and working with hypodermic tubing since 1964. Whether it’s small quantities for researchers and developers, tubing for production or custom cutting or fabricating parts from hypodermic tubing, we have learned the needs of our various customers when it comes to standard lengths, tolerances and packaging.

In general, we know that most people do not need a 30-inch or 60-inch piece of hypodermic tubing. Most users will do something else with it either in-house, or they’ll have us make what they need. But regardless, customers buying standard lengths for production or R&D really do (and should) have some standards. For example, holding a +/-0.5-inch tolerance on a piece of tubing for 30 inches or 60 inches long should not be a challenge. In fact, holding a 1/8-inch tolerance shouldn’t even be a challenge. But, even though the need for grace is understandable in some mill operations, at the very least the tubing should come at least OD deburred on a buffer. This is a step that should be expected from customers. Many will argue that it is an unnecessary step that adds cost, but it is a service and benefit to the customer, even if they are going to process it anyway. It gives them a good, clean starting point to work from and allows tubing to be flush next to each other when such alignments are required for certain operations. Finally, the tubing should be packaged in a way that it is protected and can be well organized and identified. Some smaller sizes require shipping in a stiff poly tube, but we typically ship all our tubing this way for protection. Some of the larger sizes can be shipped in poly sleeves, but should be bundled in a way that the tubing is protected, and the bundle is rigid enough to prevent bending.

Naturally, we think our way of supplying it is the best way, especially after years of listening to what our customers appreciate. But, even though we believe this is the standard of what customers ought to expect from their supplier, there is always room to be better. So, if you have seen something done that made an impression or makes sense that we haven’t thought of when it comes to supplying hypodermic tubing, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

The mission of Component Supply is to be a resource for researchers and product designers by connecting them with the components and knowledge they need to change the world.


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Cowboy Engineering

Engineering is a discipline that follows strict rules of mathematics and science, but someone had to discover those rules first. We know that 316 stainless steel has a melting point of between 1370°C and 1400°C, but do we even remember how we acquired that information in the first place?

We know it because of what we call “Cowboy Engineers.” Melting points were discovered because someone once took a piece of 316 stainless steel and turned up the furnace until the steel melted. We know the bend radius of tubing and elongation percentages of mandrel wires because someone once bent and stretched these materials past their limits. These are some of the things we get to do at Component Supply every day. We work with these Cowboy Engineers to test the limits in the areas where we are knowledgeable. We are willing to take risks with them and break the rules (in a very safe environment, hopefully), so we can acquire the information to really make a difference in the industries we serve. At Component Supply, we have a heart for research and development, and we are excited to test the limits with fellow Cowboy Engineers.

For more information about Component Supply’s work with Cowboy Engineers, visit:

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The Questions We Don’t Answer

headshot1bwAs a company committed to being a resource the industries we serve, it is in our nature to answer questions about products, processes and technologies. But, we recognize that we work with the brightest, most creative people, throughout the world, and sometimes the person on the other end of the phone is more qualified to answer the question than we are! While we work hard to grow our industry and product knowledge, we often find that we are Jacks of all trades and masters of none. And to be honest, we’re ok with that.

Between our diverse customer base – researchers in the medical, aerospace, analytical sciences, and chemical sciences fields –  and our range of materials – from PTFE to stainless steel and nitinol – there is a limit to our knowledge.

Recently I had a customer who purchased our blunt needles and was testing a consistent engagement of the male Luer on the syringe and female Luer to ensure the product met a standard they kept. This test is conducted by a five Newton weight to answer the question: “What is the allowable tolerance on the weight?” Unfortunately, we couldn’t answer this question for two reasons. First, we do not supply the weights for testing, so we don’t have any information about them. Second, because our needles have various applications – dispensing epoxy in a manufacturing assembly line, dispensing chemicals in pharmaceuticals or collecting samples for analytical science experiments – it is hard to know every standard out there. It’s not that we don’t have a desire to. There is just simply more knowledge out there than we have acquired, even after decades of working with these products and in these industries.

So, please ask us questions. If we don’t know the answer, we will let you know or we will try and find it. Also, if we don’t know the answer and you find it somewhere else, please take the time the share it with us. Admittedly, the question about the acceptable tolerance on the five Newton weight has only been asked once in the 20 years I’ve been doing this. But, if that time has taught me anything, it’s that if one person is asking about it, someday, someone else will. And next time, we’ve like to have the answer.

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The R&D Resource for Collaborative Research

In the October 2017 edition of Scientific American, Brooke Borel writes “Science doesn’t happen in a vacuum. But historically, many researchers haven’t done a great job of confronting – or even acknowledging – the entangled relation between their work and how it is perceived once it leaves the lab.”

Borel cites controversial research, such Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops and more recently CRISPR and gene drives, as the impetus for scientists bringing their research to the forefront of public awareness. However, at Component Supply, we believe that such sharing is important for many reasons. We agree that transparency between the labs and society is necessary to build trust in an era of skepticism, but we also believe that building communication between “science and the society it serves,” as Borel phrases it, encourages the interdisciplinary research that occurs in many labs we supply.

For example, in 2015, we were privileged to speak with David Brown, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, about his collaborators on the KineAssist, a device that provides unobtrusive support to patients relearning how to balance and walk. Brown had more than 10 students from different backgrounds ranging from physical therapy to engineering working in his lab.

But how do researchers in various disciplines find collaborators? When the data is still being collected and the findings have yet to be published, Component Supply is looking to fill the research gaps in multiple ways. We’ve always supported our R&D friends with quality components, custom fabrication options, quick lead times and low minimums. But, it’s about more than getting these components into the right hands quickly and economically or even fabricating them to take the burden off the labs. It’s about being a point of connection between researchers seeking collaboration in interdisciplinary research and sharing their work. We want to be connected to the work of designers so we can anticipate the needs of labs all over the world and adjust our capabilities accordingly, but ultimately, we want to introduce the world to some truly amazing people.

And it starts here, with our Researcher Spotlights. It’s the catalyst for our mission here at Component Supply – connecting researchers and product designers with quality components and comprehensive knowledge so they can change the world.

Read our Researcher Spotlight with David Brown here.

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Bending Hypodermic Tubing

headshot1bwLet’s face it, bending a thin, little, hollow tube that’s smaller than a 1/16” diameter takes virtually no effort at all. The rub comes when you still want to be able to pass a gas or a liquid through that tube after it is bent.

Here’s the problem: Even though stainless steel hypodermic tubing is a full hard tube when you get down into the very small ODs like 0.013”- .032,” the tubes do not have enough tensile strength to remain at the radius they are formed. They spring back and you wind up having to bend them at a much smaller radius than your finished radius, thereby compounding your problems.

So, to start mitigating this problem, you need to address these three questions. How big? How steep? How long?


How big (or small) is the OD and ID of the tube I need to bend? Generally speaking, the larger the diameter, the easier the tube is to bend. However, the thinner the wall, the more likely the tube wall is to collapse while being bent.

How steep of an angle do I need to bend? Obviously the greater the angle of bend, the more difficulty you will have in maintaining the wall integrity. We recently did a job for a customer who needed a 135° bend (in essence a V shape.) In this job, the issue was not how to maintain the tube’s ID, but how to minimize and control the collapse of the tube walls during the bending process.

How long can the radius be? The compression/tension forces on the tube walls are exponentially reduced as the radius increases. So your success rate will significantly increase as the radius increases.

So, before you design your next project incorporating some little innocuous bent hypodermic tubing consider these three very inter-related issues, and if there’s anything we can do to assist your process, please contact us:

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We Won’t Let The Project Die

headshot1bwIn the early phases of research and development for a product, there are always questions and ideas to be tested. Sometimes it’s a question of size: do you need 3/16” inside diameter or 1/4” inside diameter? Once you’ve determined the correct diameter and there are at least two different wall thicknesses of each size, which one is best for your application? Maybe you aren’t sure if a 0.012” or 0.011″ diameter mandrel would be best? Or what about a PTFE coated mandrel? Sometimes it’s a material question: should you use silicone or one of the Tygon tubing options? And if you go with Tygon, which formulation is best?

Often the answers are only discovered through testing. Sadly, purchasing each individual product or small quantities of material for testing is so expensive that some projects die before they ever really get off the ground. Custom fabricated parts experience this problem even more often. The cost to have a part fabricated just to see if the idea was worth pursuing is often high enough to bring the entire project to a halt.

The thought of any project dying so early in the process is unacceptable to us. So at Component Supply, we’ve made a commitment to research and development. Because we take our specific role in the development of products seriously, we support our commitment in two ways. First, we supply our standard materials in very small quantities and have no minimum order requirements. We want researchers and product developers to test a variety of products in a cost-efficient way so they can make the best decisions to keep their project moving. Second, with our custom fabrication services, we look at the ideas people have, make very small runs with the lowest minimums available and try to deliver in days, not weeks.

We don’t want to see projects tabled or canceled just because it was too expensive to experiment with parts or modifications. Researchers should be able to test components with quality and efficiencies in mind while staying within their budget. We do everything we can do to make their projects run smoothly or improve their design tests knowing it ultimately impacts someone’s life or standard of living. At Component Supply, we operate our business to do our best to make sure we never let a project die.

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