Surgical Tubing Rollers

I was looking at 254’s tech binder from 2016 and they said that they used 2” surgical tubing rollers. The biggest surgical tubing ID I could find on McMaster was 1” ID. Do teams just stretch this tubing or where would you find bigger surgical tubing?

I understand how they are installed.

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Yes the tubing is stretched over. We’ve used air with a plug at the opposite end like @RoboChair does in this video

McMaster part is 5234K61


Cool. I thought that if you stretched the surgical tubing that much, you might burst it.

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Nope it is robust stuff. You may also want to use some soapy water to help get it on the roller.

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@RoboChair’s video and your post show 1/8" wall surgical tubing. We’re looking to make a slightly larger diameter roller. Do you think McMaster’s 1/4" wall surgical tubing will work with this method?

Also, how do you plug the end without accidentally making an air cannon / potato gun?

1/4" wall might be pretty tough but I haven’t tried it. We simply cover the end with duct tape as a plug. You just have to make sure it’s sealed with no wrinkles.

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Thanks for the quick reply! I assume you cover the end facing the airflow?

We usually insert a flanged plug of some kind. You should be able to get that stuff on, but I expect its going to take some serious muscle and frequent breaks to get it floated on.

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The opposite end that you’re sliding the rubber on. The goal is to make the only place air can escape the leading end of the rubber, creating an air gap, allowing you to slide it on. It takes some practice. There will be times were the rubber shoots off and you have to start over or there is a big air bubble in the tube and you fear for your life

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Any recommendations on how to do bearings? Should we make some hub to couple to hex…?

Typically 1.25" x 1/16" tubing is used for rollers because it has an ID of 1.125”, matching 1/2" hex bearings and a variety of COTS hubs.

We’re most likely going to lathe down the end of the hex shafts to 3/8 round and put a round bearing into it.

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