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Q: Clear Cylinder Supplier Wanted ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Clear Cylinder Supplier Wanted
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: selfy-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 30 Oct 2002 02:58 PST
Expires: 29 Nov 2002 02:58 PST
Question ID: 92981
Our company is seeking clear cylinders measuring internally 145mm
diameter externally 150mm. ie (5mm thick)

The cylinder needs to be a minimal length of 510mm.
The material has to be of a acrylic/polycarbonate material, basically
not a brittle type of plastic.

It has to be a complete cylinder not a rolled and welded type. Could
you help us source manufacturers who can produce this product? A UK or
European company would be best but we would be interested in anyone
who can do it.

To help you better understand the purpose of this product please see
this picture:

It is for the top cylinder part of this sweet vending machine. The
cylinder provided at the moment is simply not strong enough.

Thanks Google

Request for Question Clarification by smudgy-ga on 31 Oct 2002 14:53 PST

What are the tolerances on the measurements you give? That is, what if
one were able to find cylinders that were a few millimeters wider or
narrower, or whose thickness was slightly more or less than 5mm?

Clarification of Question by selfy-ga on 01 Nov 2002 01:48 PST
Whoops, cancel my last! My M.D has given me the wrong measurements,
good job you needed clarification! O.K measurements should be:

Cylinder length - 530mm minimum 
( we could cut to the required length if need be)

External Diameter - 356mm
Internal Diameter - 350mm
Thickness therefore is 3mm 

Thickness could be maximium of 5mm and it would still fir the machine
as long as the external diameter never went above 356mm.

Hope this clarify's things sufficiently.

Many Thanks


Request for Question Clarification by smudgy-ga on 11 Nov 2002 19:17 PST
Hello again,

Does your cylinder have to be a "stock" item or would a custom
solution be acceptable? There may be a manufacturer who is willing to
make/cut something to order, but it may be quite expensive.

Also, do you need just a single cylinder? From your question it seems
that you need just one.

Would plexiglas be an acceptable material?

Request for Question Clarification by haversian-ga on 12 Nov 2002 00:46 PST
Interesting question!

I have found several companies offering custom cylinders in a variety
of materials (acrylic/Plexiglas, polycarbonate, PVC, etc) but before I
request a quote I will need to know how many tubes you will need
(order of magnitude estimate is fine).

Do you have requirements for clarity, or is cloudy plastic (such as
from extrusion stress) acceptable?

The first company I found is in South Carolina, USA - will you need a
shipping quote to your location as well?


Clarification of Question by selfy-ga on 12 Nov 2002 02:03 PST
O.K - We would need an initial order of 100 cylinders with the
required dimensions and would expect to order between 500 - 1000 per
year. Whatever material is to be used would need to remain
transparent,not go cloudy and must not be too brittle.

We would like a quote based on delivery to our warehouse here in
Christchurch,Dorset England.

Many Thanks 


Request for Question Clarification by smudgy-ga on 12 Nov 2002 14:57 PST
I am hot on the trail of some quotes for fabricating 100 cylinders.
Your post code might be helpful in estimating shipping charges to your
warehouse. Thanks.

PS: If I am able to get one or two definite quotes (most likely US
quotes), should I post those as an answer while waiting for (hopefully
more local) quotes to be processed? Or would you prefer several quotes
posted in a batch?

Clarification of Question by selfy-ga on 13 Nov 2002 01:30 PST
Thanks for your mail. Our post code is BH23 3TA and sure if you could
post any quotes you get in batches as they come in. Local would be
better but we are interested in all quotes.

Very impressed with the service so far!


Subject: Re: Clear Cylinder Supplier Wanted
Answered By: smudgy-ga on 13 Nov 2002 13:22 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I have received the first quote for the parts you require! More quotes
to follow. If for some reason you have a problem with the quote given
below or with any other part of my answer, please do not hesitate to
request a clarification. (In particular see below regarding US
Standard versus Metric measurements for your parts.)

I have contacted two American suppliers and two suppliers in the UK.
To the American suppliers I gave measurements converted into the
closest US standard equivalent, in the hopes that they would have
something in stock that would meet your needs. As it turns out, the US
standard measurements come very close to the exact measurements you
give. To the British suppliers I gave your exact measurements.

To American suppliers I gave the following measurements:

Outside diameter: 
14.00 inches = 355.6 mm. You requested 356 mm
Inside diameter:
13.75 inches = 349.25 mm. You requested between 346 and 350 mm.
Minimum length:
I gave a round measurement of 21 inches, which is 533.4 mm. I imagine
that a quote at the more exact 20.875 inches (530.225 mm) would not be
far removed from the cost quoted to me for 21 inches. Another option
is that in the US, cylinders are usually cast in 6-foot lengths, from
which you could cut your own lengths of cylinder, 3 per 6-foot length.
At your request I will ask for a new quote based on either of these
changes (or if you desire you can contact the companies directly, now
that you know about availability and approximate price).

To British suppliers, once again, I gave your exact measurements.

I have received the first of the quotes from American suppliers. As
the other quotes come in I shall post them.

 Below find quoted the message I received for the first quote. The
price is quoted for the initial order of 100 units. The price quoted
includes shipping:



Dear Sir:

Your quotation for Cast Acrylic Tubing is as follows:

      100 pcs.  13.750” ID x 14.0” OD x 21” Long Cast Acrylic Tubing =
$200.28 ea.

Delivery:  10-11 weeks to ship
Each pc. weighs approximately 4.9 lbs.

Thank you for your interest in Modern Plastics, Inc., and if there is
anything else that I can do for you, please
do not hesitate to contact me.

Gail Murphy - Distribution Sales
Modern Plastics
765 West Boylston Street
Worcester, Massachusetts 01606
800.817.5571 Toll-Free
508.853.3275 Phone
508.853.3580 Fax Line

Plastics Distributor and Custom Fabricator

A GE Technical Solutions Network Member

Visit our website at;


Once again I hope you find this information satisfactory. If you have
any questions or problems, please request a clarification. And once
again I will add more quotes in clarifications as they come in.

Good luck,

Clarification of Answer by smudgy-ga on 13 Nov 2002 13:47 PST
Oh dear, I almost forgot:

Search strategy:

On Google I searched for: <plastics suppliers> <acrylic suppliers>
<acrylic suppliers uk> etc.
Upon finding several companies which I verified manufactured acrylic
tubing (by looking at their info sheet or online catalog), I emailed
several of the most likely companies (i.e., ones that sold cylinders
close to your required dimensions) asking for a quote based on your

Request for Answer Clarification by selfy-ga on 14 Nov 2002 02:16 PST
Excellent work so far smudgy. Could you also see if any of these
suppliers could make the cylinder out of a material called lexan? The
prices they are quoting ie $200 per tube is very high maybe this lexan
could be cheaper.

The more quotes the better,

Many Thanks


Clarification of Answer by smudgy-ga on 14 Nov 2002 05:14 PST
I have requsted a quote for the same dimensions in lexan from Modern
Plastics. I will do the same with each of the other companies as their
quotes for acrylic come in. Of course, I will post each quote as it

Clarification of Answer by smudgy-ga on 16 Nov 2002 11:17 PST

Since the quotes seem to be taking much longer to process than I had
anticipated, let me list for you the companies that have promised me
quotes, in case you want to contact them on their own. If I receive
further quotes, I will certainly post them.

American companies:
Modern Plastics.
ComPlex Plastics. 

British companies:
Yorkshire Metal Stockholders.
Ryan Plastics.

Good luck,

Clarification of Answer by smudgy-ga on 18 Nov 2002 10:30 PST

One of the suppliers asks the following questions:


how critical is the roundness and wall thickness ?

what kind of optical quality do you require ?

i ask because we are testing this new size now
and we are still working on perfecting the item.

our 12" is very nice , extrusion lines are hardly visible and is
less than 1/2 the price of cast tubing.


In response to his last comment about 12" tubing, I replied that the
dimensions I gave him were not variable. That aside, do you have any
comments about his other suggestions? How clear does the tubing need
to be? How uniformly thick? Would extrusion lines on the tubing be
acceptable? Etc.

Good luck,

Request for Answer Clarification by selfy-ga on 19 Nov 2002 04:07 PST

I think the best way to put it across to the companies is to actually
show them it's application. ie the vending machine. This way they will
know straight away there can be very little variation in size and the
cylinder has to be clear for people to see through it etc.
Yorkshire Metal Stockholders don't do the clear cylinders

Many Thanks


Clarification of Answer by smudgy-ga on 19 Nov 2002 06:32 PST
Are you absolutely opposed to rolled/welded types of tubing? Is it a
strength issue or a "looks" issue that is averring you from this

One of the suppliers I have contacted has said to me that it would be
nearly impossible to manufacture cast or extruded tubing with 3mm wall
in the diameter you need. What is the absolute thickest wall that your
tubing can be? You have said 5mm before but I would like to reconfirm
that -- if it were possible to go thicker then there might be more
possibilities in the cast/extruded realm.

I will email a few more companies if nothing works out on these

Also, one of the suppliers has indicated to me that lexan is pretty
much universally more expensive than acrylic.

More info as it arrives,

Request for Answer Clarification by selfy-ga on 20 Nov 2002 02:46 PST
We would look at rolled/welded types if they were strong enough. The
looks issue is a factor but the exisiting ones are rolled and welded
and they don't look too bad.

Thanks for your continued efforts


Clarification of Answer by smudgy-ga on 22 Nov 2002 05:46 PST
Hello again,

American manufacturer ComPlex Plastics has indicated a price of "about
$30 per foot" (not including shipping) for extruded 14" outside
diameter acrylic cylinder with 1/8" (3.175mm) wall. However, I am
having trouble nailing down a quote--there have been some
communications difficulties between their representative and me. I
will continue my attempts at getting a real quote, but in the
meantime, if you find this price more acceptable (understanding that
shipping has not been factored in yet) you may want to contact them

I have been in contact with Mike Knopfler at

Good luck!
selfy-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00

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