Demand for PTFE Coated Wire Causes Quality Problems

In our decades of experience in the tubing and wire industry, we have never seen the quality issues with PTFE coated wire that we have seen over the past eight months. Combining the strength and durability of stainless steel wire with the lubricity of PTFE, this material has become highly desirable in the medical device industry. Unfortunately, that demand took its toll on the quality of the product in 2018. From a multitude of suppliers, we began seeing inconsistent coating thicknesses, delamination of the PTFE coating, and scratched or scraped sections of the coating throughout the length of the wire. We were failing lot after lot of material at incoming inspection from sources we’ve used and trusted for years. New coating suppliers, who were entering the business after seeing the sudden and explosive growth in the industry, were releasing the product while their coating methods and techniques had not yet been perfected. Inferior products were released, and it didn’t take long for distributors to realize these new releases were not the quality of product they had received in the past.

Unfortunately, we have not seen this problem completely remedied in the first part of 2019. We have worked hard with our coaters to ensure the consistency of coating as well as manageable lead times, but quality and supply issues are still surfacing. At Component Supply, we want to put material on the shelf that eliminates these potential issues, but it has taken a huge investment in time and resources to work through the coating process, find the right supplier, and get the quantities we need in our inventory.

As the industry continues to grow and adjust to the demand of this product, we suggest you plan even further ahead, keeping longer lead times in mind. If you need a supplier or would like the opportunity to speak with someone about the lead times for PTFE coated wire, we would be happy to help you plan your buying for the year and ensure you are going to get the quality of product you expect.


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End of the Year Update 2018: Our Best Year Yet!

Another year is coming to an end, and Component Supply would like to thank our faithful customers for making 2018 our best year yet. We are excited about the partnerships we have built this year and the role you have allowed us to play in changing lives for people all over the world. We’ve seen tremendous growth not only in our company, but also throughout the industries we serve. In 2018, this growth allowed Component Supply to:

  • Expand our inventory with an additional 1.5 million feet of tubing and wire.
  • Acquire new equipment to perform laser cutting of mesh for custom filtration applications.
  • Add 10 times our 2017 capacity for custom cutting of PTFE tubing.
  • Double our precision cutting capacity for metal tubing and wire.
  • Increase our number of employees by 20%.
  • Obtain our ISO 9001:2015 certification.

In 2019, you can expect to see continued growth as well as even more attention to our R&D friends. We still work to better understand your needs for low minimums, fast lead times and affordable pricing, and as always, we encourage you to send us your drawings as we collaborate to find solutions. As you transition to production, you can rest assured that we will continue to improve our quality management system, expand our capabilities and increase our capacities to the standards required for production. As always, it is our goal to put the best components in the hands of the brightest researchers and product designers, so they can change the world.

Thank you for partnering with us in 2018. We can’t wait to work with you again in the new year!

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Researcher Spotlight: Sarah Suda Petters, Ph.D., NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Meet Sarah Suda Petters, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


B.S., Physics 2008
M.S., Atmospheric Science 2011
Ph.D., Atmospheric Science 2015


When Petters entered graduate school, the aerosol research group offered her a stipend for her work, which led her to her current field of study. For over eight years, Petters has been studying atmospheric aerosol particles, which are suspensions of nano-scale particles with diameters of roughly 10 to 1000 nanometers. These ubiquitous particles can exceed concentrations of 10,000 particles per cubic centimeter and impact air quality, visibility of remote landmarks, regional climate systems and human health.

The effect of aerosols on large-scale phenomena depends in part on the physical properties of the particles themselves including solubility in water, their volatility, or the time it takes for them to equilibrate under environmental changes.

Petters’ work specifically addresses the question of aerosol volatility.

“I am generating particles by feeding an aqueous solution of dissolved organic compounds (via tubing and fittings from Component Supply Company) through a 20-micrometer orifice. A jet forms as the liquid is ejected at about 0.2 mL/min through the orifice, and the surface tension around the liquid jet pinches off droplets at a uniform rate. As these droplets evaporate, the organic compound remains in the condensed phase.”

However, Petters’ dissolved samples are slightly volatile and will evaporate with the water. Residual particle size shows how volatile the sample is. Petters hopes to link the volatility and hygroscopic character of aerosol particles to some of the chemical pathways that result in particle formation in the atmosphere. But, as with any research, it is challenging to control the conditions of the experiment.

“Aerosol measurements are made using suspended particles that must be either generated in the lab or captured from the environment and measured in an airstream without impacting them on anything. Thus, conditioning the airstream during all stages of the measurement is critically important. It is also challenging to verify the chemical reaction pathways for even the simplest of reactions. For example, if you oxidize a common atmospheric gas, pinene (it evaporates from pine needles), using ozone, you will end up with over 1000 products. There are a handful of different schools of thought on how to understand the complexity of atmospheric chemical reactions. Some people simplify these into categories of reactions. Others view this process only through the formed chemicals and bypass the complexity of the entire reaction, others study simple systems and make inferences extending to more complex systems.”

Fun Facts Q&A: 

What’s your favorite food? Pasta Primavera

What’s your favorite song or music group? Einsturzende Neubauten

What book do you recommend? Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I do love flying…

What’s the coolest gadget you’ve ever seen?  I don’t like gadgets. The coolest thing is a DMA (differential mobility analyzer), which is a set of shiny steel concentric cylinders that size-segregates particles using an electric field of several thousand volts.

What’s on your bucket list? To create a famous graph.

Who is a person throughout history you’d most like to meet? The trouble is that most famous people throughout history would not be great candidates for a nice friendly chat with a random fan. It would be interesting to talk with my ancestors, scientific or literal.

What is the best trip or vacation you’ve ever taken? I’ve enjoyed my various trips to sample aerosols. Maybe one of the best places was Boulder, Colorado.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not in your lab? Aikido

What is one research discovery you’d like to see? I’d like to know where the extra (unpaired) electrons go on the Criegee radical molecule. What do the bonds look like? How are the energy levels structured? This is likely already discovered but I’d like to know.

Learn More:

Read more details about Petters’ work here:

For products that have been useful to Petters’ and other researchers around the world, visit

To share your research story, email Kristin at

Visit the blog for more Researcher Spotlights:


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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.

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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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