fusing ends of latex tubing

We are attempting to make a ball conveyor using the latex tubing supplied in the kit of parts. What successful methods have been used in the past :confused:

We applied some rubber cement from a tire patch kit on the outside walls and then slide it into some heat shrink tubing. A heat gun and 2 hours later and it appeared to be holding well … then it came loose :yikes:

Does splicing work with thread wound around???

Thanks in advance,


You could try melting it to itself, that’s how we fused the Polycord belting we used in 2004.

I believe you’re reffering to the surgical tubing. I haven’t personally done this, but this is what I remember my coach telling me last week to make a loop out of surgical tubing - please get a second opinion to confirm this before you try it:

Find a sort section of a cylindrical rubbery material that you can stretch and pull the opposite ends of the surgical tubing over (some small diameter rubbery material). IF I remember right, you apply a little heat to the joint, the surgical tubing melts a bit and permanently turns sticky at the joint.

The heat gun was used initially to attempt to fuse the ends and ended up making a stinking mess :ahh: It got hot and gooey but would never fuse. :frowning:

edit: rereading your post are you speaking of some sort of flexible insert which the surgical tubing fuses to upon heating?

Getting the surgical tubing to stick to itself is extremely difficult. But if you have the flexible insert inside (which is larger in diameter than the inside of the surgical tubing, but by just a little), the surgical tubing should get gooey and fuse with the insert.

It will definitely stink - same thing that happens when you burn the end of bungee cord to keep it from fraying. Now, I don’t know if the stuff being produced is toxic. That’s something to find out.

That’s my understanding based on what my Coach explained with the fused piece he pulled out from some years ago.


I do have a method of making a loop of latex tubing but the procedure is rather complicated to explain without pictures, et cetera.

I strongly suggest that you use polycord for this application.

If you find that you really need to use latex, please repost here or PM or email me and I’ll try and walk you through it.



Check out McMaster. Endless Belts They come in prejoined lengths from 7 - 60" diameters by 1/4" increments. You can buy the stuff in bulk but the tool to fuse the ends is rather expensive ($450-$500 from what I have seen). Just another option.


Speaking of…

Does anyone know the initial tension percentage for McMasters urethane belting? I see Small parts lists 8% for their polycord stuff, by McMaster has no such number. How do you know what length to purchase or make?

$4 a foot is insane for the polycord!

from what i have been reading i am fairly confident that this is belting from fenner drives, and I am not sure about the answer to your other question but their website seems to be a great resource.

Turns out the mcmaster stuff is 10%.

A couple of people have already mentioned that polycord is great for this application. I agree, it holds together really well when you fuse the ends properly, and it makes a great ball transport belt. Better than latex tubing imho.

I remember back in 2002? when one of the east coast teams (19 maybe?) had a cool hot-wire polycord cutter. The hot wire (hooked up to a battery) melted the cord and you could then immediately push the two ends together to fuse them. Does anyone remember the specifics of that device?

When we tried to make a belt out of latex tubing before, we tightly wrapped thin twine around the ends of the tubing which were pushed on to a short cylindrical device (I think we used a bolt?). It didn’t work all that well…


Yeah, we tried heating and it did nothing other than make a gooey smelly mess.

Does anyone know the exact size/spec on the surgical tubing in the KOP and where to get it? Is it the same as Latex tubing from McMaster?

Also, would it be bad if we just tied the ends in a knot? Seems to work okay.

has anyone tried epoxy? super glue (CA glue)?

We have abondonded this idea for the time being. We are looking at the shelf liner or carpet runner no slip underlayment material. It seems to have good tack for the poof ball and we will just sew the ends together. The only concern is how much tension to give it and how well the seam will hold. I’ll probably need to talk to the home economics teacher for how to sew ends of a stretch fabric so that they won’t tear or rip :yikes:

Anybody have a good use for the six years worth of surgical tubing in my shop. I think I’ll post that as available on the CD swap :smiley:

we found a couple zipties with a couple inches of overlapped tubign worked well. depending on what kind of pulleys you are plannign to use. except i know ducttape isnt legal but is zipties other than organizing wires? i dunno. but zipties do rip into the tubing after a lot of use espescially on small pulleys. on larger diameter pulleys less flex in the tubing=less wear. and the more zipties the less strain on each point the tubing is held by ties. and so well… be ready to replace them every day. but not much more than that.

Do any of you know where an endless flat bed could be purchased and how a endless flat belt could be put together?

So far we have experimented with contact cement. It takes two people.

step1 - coat one end in contact cement
step2 - one person holds the two ends together and tries to push the coated end inside the other end
step3 - the second person uses a phillips screwdriver to help push the coated end inside the other end (it is easy with some practice)
step4 - let it set for about 30 min

So far the glue is holding well. Not sure about the long term yet. There is a small bump at the joint, but it does not seem to cause us a problem.

does that make it really stiff right there? or is it flexible still?