View Full Version : How are they made?

09-16-2002, 12:26 PM
Two questions.

1. How are hypodermic needles made? Do you take a tube and roll/stretch it under heat and pressure?

2. How is the eye of a sewing needle made?


Mike L
09-16-2002, 03:29 PM
Typical small gauge tubing is drawn. Over a mandrel, until the size gets too small, then only OD drawn to size.


09-16-2002, 03:37 PM
A company in my hometown makes needles and syringes. They buy big rolls of tubing and draw the needles to size. Then the tubing is cut to size. The tips are ground to a one-sided point.

09-16-2002, 05:01 PM
Great post. My wife is diabetic, I see four of these a day. Always wondered this....

09-16-2002, 05:39 PM

Two ways to make tubing. Peirced & drawn to create Seamless tubing. Sheet stock is sheared and roll formed and butt welded to get seamed tubing. The seam can be either upset (heated with RF and squeezed together), electron beam, laser, gas, or submerged arc welded depending on the application.

Needle eyes are hot stamped in a punch press after the needle is heated with RF coils or gas heaters.

I use 5 needles a day myself (diabetic & Ugly). I have seen micrographs of diabetic needles used more than once - man, does that sharp pointy end get dull and curl back fast (OUCH!).

For bending the hypodermic tubing (source @ www.smallparts.com (http://www.smallparts.com) ) you can fill the stainless steel tube with Bismuth alloy, bend, and then melt out - no kinks.

09-17-2002, 12:40 AM
gosh, a topic I know something about (for a change) First I gotta ask Thrud; "five needles a day, diabetic and ugly" Whatcha got there, three for sugar and two for ugly? or is it four and one?
Worked at Gary Tube Works, seamless tubing our main product. Heat a billet between 2100 and 2150*F, grab it in a chuck and spin it, then ram a chilled bullet shaped stinger with tons of force as it spins over a solid mandrel. A 5" billet four feet long becomes a 1/2" wall tube about 4" diameter about 20 feet long. Reheat to draw further, anneal, upset the ends, temper, normalize, etc. We went as small as golf club shafts at one time, but much smaller than two inch diameter became squirrely for us as the equipment aged. A red hot 1" snake over 80 feet long would occasionally jump out of the rolls, yeehah, we're awake now! So we pretty much limited our diameter to around 1 1/2", and let the customer draw it further. Ugly needles are made right there in Canada, by the way...Thrud gets a discount
Take a close look at a sewing machine needle some time, and imagine trying to make one for 20 cents. A hundred pack of Groz-Beckerts, titanium nitrated, $19. Amazing.

09-17-2002, 02:36 AM
Actually, I do get a discount - 65%! Part of the joy of being a insulin dependent Albertian is the Annual "poke the bastards, maybe they will die" grant of up to $350 for Needles, Lancets, and strips. Wow. The Heritage trust fund was over 30 billion at one time and was "every Albertian's" - where is the other $450,000? I feel like I just got screwed again. It is ok though - Lougheed has his golf course, his friends have all their patronages. And king Ralphie has a red nose and likes to scream at the bums when he is plastered and throw twentys at them. Certain Americans only handed out dimes during the depression - the cheap S.O.B.'s!

Ops! On rant mode again - sorry. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 09-17-2002).]

09-17-2002, 11:57 PM
Most of the products from B&D are injection molded. I worked with a moldmaker from their Nebraska plant a few years ago....I got kinda tired of hearing about the 128-cavity balanced hot runner systems....

09-18-2002, 01:59 AM
Fellow diabetics ;-) Knowing full well that "The first liar doesn't stand a chance" how many of use have, just to see how tough we were" kept using a "one use only" needle past one month?
P.S. I didn't get past three weeks but my Dr. used one for a month. Tough woman.

09-18-2002, 06:24 AM
I use the Becton Dickinson 29 Gauge 1/2" 100 unit syringe. Use once - destroy. No junkie is getting their kicks from my money. I quit buying the 3ml. Pen vials when I found out how much cheaper the 10ml bottles are. I leaked more with the pen needles (too short for my flab). I rarely get bruised any more (I take blood thinners) from the injections.

When I was in Vegas last I would give myself a shot in the biceps at the table before eating. One time I was getting stared at so I figure I might as well give them something to watch, so I pretended to be injecting hard drugs. They called security and I had to explain myself - they went over to these nosey people and asked them if they they had ever seen a diabetic before or not. Another kodak moment...and free lunch! (they were so embarrased for raising a stink they paid for ours) Bugs Bunny would be proud of me - I am such a stinker. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

09-18-2002, 03:59 PM
Becton Dickenson has three plants in Nebraska and I have many friends that work there. They probably made the needles that Thrud uses! Very good company! Thanks--Mike.

09-18-2002, 05:13 PM
THRUD: Does injecting into your bicep make the insuln go to work faster? I love your sense of humor but I am afraid that if the two of us got together out in public our combined humor would get us jailed. WALT

[This message has been edited by 1erful (edited 09-18-2002).]

09-19-2002, 12:53 AM
I live in Columbus, Ne. we have 2 B-D plants here one just opened within the past year. Very impressive to go through, my father-inlaw worked there 37 for years. His job was what you were talking about he worked on the drawing lines.

09-20-2002, 04:25 AM
Yes I think we could get arrested. I can taste it in my mouth as soon as it is injected. I thought about doing it in a gym (like you would catch me sweating...) - then telling the muscleheads I have been doing "'roids" for twenty years. I won't tell them I meant asteroids... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

09-20-2002, 01:44 PM
What % of HMS'ers have sugar? Almost ALL of the potato farmers I know over 50 have it. Some think it is the molibnium from cutting and welding plow points and digger chain that then takes the place of crome in some chemical that helps to get the insulin into the cell. All type 2 and thin, my father and grandfather were under 170# and very fit.

09-20-2002, 11:15 PM
I have been taking insulin for 46 1/2 years. Don't think I got it from work since I was 4 years old when it was discovered.

[This message has been edited by roberlt (edited 09-20-2002).]

09-20-2002, 11:59 PM
Calcium is essential for fibrin to close wounds, in diabetics wounds are difficult to heal. Some Scientists suspect a link to mineral defeciency - which makes sense as the soil has been nutritionally depleted since the thirties. I do not believe much research is done (or it may get covered up) into the nutritional aspect - the drug companies are only interested in a "drug" cure and no research grants are available for alternates.
Drug companies make massive profits on diabetis and it is estimated that 50% of the population may have it. A non-intrusive blood sugar device was invented - much like the portable O2% used in hospitals. It has not been released as there is considerable profits in the chemstrips.

Anyone out there know how to determine blood sugars using infrared light? Maybe a non-Pharma company needs to bring one out! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif