How to conjoin surgical tubing?

We cannot tie the tubing so we neither a step by step on how to melt or glue surgical tubing. Thank you very much in advance, Eastridge Robotics.

You will destroy the tubing if you try to melt it. There is no glue that is both strong enough and flexible enough to bond with acceptable integrity to the tubing.

Why can’t you tie it ?


I usually cut (or stretch) the tubing so that the ends go past each other and then put two zip ties around both ends and cinch them together. Just be careful, some zip ties can cut the surgical tubing when tightened too much.

we have used hose clamps in the past, i have always thought that if you could inflate the surgical tubing with compressed air, then put one end inside the other and let the air out it would make a strong bond.

Thank you both very much, we have decided to forgo the use of surgical tubing.

Someone else may find this useful…
Cut a short length of pneumatic tubing (2-4 inches will do, longer will make a better bond) and slide both ends of the surgical tubing over it. It’s surprisingly strong, although I can’t vouch for it’s performance under very high loads or over a long period of time.

i got a better idea, get heat-shrink that just fits over the tube before shrunk, then shrink it.

A smaller diameter length of surgical tubing can be inserted into larger tubing, but it is very difficult. The upside is that it is just as difficult if not harder to remove (this is only a good thing if you don’t have to undo the connection once it has been made).

Take a look at a wrist rocket slingshot and see how the sugical tubing is attached to the slingshot.


Danger: Do NOT use lubricant to slide the tubing on. It may slide off and hit someone in the eye.


Would a solvent (such as isopropyl alcohol) work? It should lubricate when its wet, then evaporate quickly afterwards. I believe its what’s used to re-grip golf clubs.

Tracking down this old thread, did anyone ever try hollow core tubing connectors like these at McMaster:

zip ties maybe? depending on roller material, wether or not they would slip…

We have used them in the past. They only really work with the hollow belting also sold on that page, latex is much more flexible and will likely not stay on the end of the barb.

They are kind of a pain to deal with. It’s tricky to push the barbs into the tubing; I think that welding solid urethane belts together tends to be easier. The barbs can’t go over as tight of a bend radius as a solid core welded belt either.

If you want to make urethane belts without melting pieces together, then these barbs are probably the next best thing.

Why surgical tubing though? I’d look into investing in polycords. surgical tubing drives have a tendency to wear out and snap. In 2012 we had a surgical tubing ball pick up, and every match we were replacing a surgical tubing belt. Then before our state competition we had the ability to switch to polycording which you just melt together, and it worked without any issue.

If you do have to use surgical tubing. Our team never had an issue with a belt coming apart by joining the two ends with a piece of pneumatic tubing then slipping one end over the other end, and then electrical taping up the joint. However in hindsight perhaps we could have used heat shrink tubing.

We are using surgical tubing for an intake assembly, so far no issues other than one of the 9 loops was a bit too loose and migrated a bit at a week 0 event. They are joined by single fisherman knots which do double duty - the knots help us agitate the fuel since the intake extends a ways into our hopper. Pulling all looseness out of the knots is a must or they will come untied. We have small zip ties anchoring the short loose ends of the knots as insurance.