How Are Hypodermic Needles Made
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Hypodermic needles are what some of you may know as a syringe and needle. They are used in the medical industry for drawing blood or administrating medication. The first hypodermic needle was produced in 1953 but it wasn’t until 1954 that it was mass produced for the massive immunisation against Polio. The hypodermic needle is a lifesaving piece of equipment allowing medical professionals to administer medication to their patients safely and hygienically. So how exactly are they made?

In order to mass produce hypodermic needles there are a number of steps that must be carried out, and it all begins with a flat sheet of stainless steel. A milling machine is firstly used to roll the metal into a long tube that then has to be sealed at the seams using a laser.

At this stage the tube is far too big to use as a needle and it is nowhere near strong enough. In order to thin the tube and harden its shell it needs to go through a process known as cold work. This is where the tube is pressed into a much thinner form of its original self.

Once you have the correct width of the tube it is time to cut it down to size. Hypodermic needles tend to be around 5cm in length, just long enough to pierce the skin and inject the medication into the body.  Electric blades are used to score the tubes and rubber pads that press down on them causes them to gradually break away at the score lines. As they break away the tubes fall into a container where air pressure is used to sort them into a bundle where they all face the same way.

Aluminium oxide is then sprayed onto the ends of the tubes to give them a rough surface that will help make the final steps easier to perform. The tubes are placed into a grinding clamp where a coolant flows over the top of the tubes.  A grinding wheel is then used to grind and sharpen the ends into a rough point. Once achieved the tubes are rolled and rotated and the angle of the grinding wheel is changed. The sides of the tubes are now shaped into a finer point that will make them needle sharp.

With the tubing now shaped the needles have to be inspected to ensure that they meet specific requirements. The needles should be even and of the same size, have a point a few millimetres long. The diameter of the outside of the tube has to then be measured alongside the diameter of the inner tube. Finally any irregularities need to be checked for.

After passing inspection the needles are placed onto an automated assembly machine. From here they are dropped into hubs that allow the needle to be attached to the syringe. Crimpers press the needles into the hub and friction causes them to bond together. A plastic sleeve is then placed over the tip of the needle encasing it.

The needles are now ready for use.

Friday, July 8th, 2016 by Charlie Stelling About Us No Comments

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