All-Spec News

A Swab for Every Job

by Andy on May 4, 2016

Whoever thought there could be so many different kinds of swabs, aka, tipped applicators?

Trace_Evidence_vs_Blood_EvidenceMost people only know of the kinds of swabs used to clean ears. Invented in the 1920s, Leo Gerstenzang thought to attach wads of cotton to toothpicks (Q-Tips). This little idea has since grown into a billion-dollar industry and evolved far beyond swabs for cleaning ears.

Most likely you’ve used some kind of swab or at least seen them used; for instance, swabbing the inside of someone’s mouth to get a cell sample for DNA testing.

Today, there are hundreds of different kinds of tipped applicators being used in various areas including medical, diagnostic, industrial and forensic, to name just a few. To further the point, the largest manufacturer of swabs, Puritan, presently makes 1094 different types of swabs.

A swab is not just a swab anymore.

Work-bay-2Highly specialized swabs can actually be quite complicated to make, depending on the environment in which they’ll be used. Considerations such as length, width, color, scored or not scored, flexible, foam, or polyester must be decided upon, as well as, the manufacturer’s capabilities, i.e., machinery, workforce and equipment needed to produce them.

In the electronic assembly industry, workers use a multitude of different kinds of tipped applicators every day to perform very defined jobs and sometimes critical tasks, such as those performed in cleanrooms.

What may seem like mundane actions, like applying glue or cleaning a particular area of a circuit board, suddenly become critical operations. Should the wrong kind of swab for the job be used, the consequences can be extensive and expensive. An entire cleanroom can be jeopardized by just one little swab.

The standard of all things.

critical-environments-qsource1Furthermore, using the right kind of swab can potentially determine the difference between life and death, certainly when collecting samples of life-threatening viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically states the kind of Puritan swab that must be used during the Macrofoam Swab Procedure when sampling Bacillus anthracis –

Macrofoam swab, sterile, 3/16 inch thick medical-grade polyurethane foam head, 100 pores per inch, thermally bonded to a polypropylene stick (such as the Sterile Foam Tipped Applicators Scored with Thumb Stop [Puritan, Guilford, Maine; catalog number 25-1607 1PF SC] or equivalent)

Because of the myriad of industries needing swabs and the critical nature of some of the jobs they perform, different entities have created stringent standards to safeguard against irrevocable and possibly deadly mistakes. For instance, the kinds of swabs used in cleanrooms, where levels of all kinds of contamination must be continually controlled.

The implications of saying something as simple as, “I’ll probably need a swab for that,” become much more intricate when considering where, how and why it will be used.

puritan_foam_swabs_industrial_useWant to sample some swabs?

Receive a free sample of Puritan swabs to try on your cleanrooms and assembly applications. Log in to All-Spec and  “Claim Your Free Swabs.”

 

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When things get hot, keep cool with CircuitMedic’s Heat Shield Repair Kit.  A new All-Spec offering, the comprehensive kit has everything you need to protect your assembled circuit board and sensitive components.

Minimize collateral heat damage, inadvertent reflow as well as unintended rework. CircuitMedic’s kit contains sheets of aluminized heat shielding material and an assortment of high temperature tape, tools and supplies in a conductive, ESD-safe carrying case. Block extraneous heat flow with a high temperature mask that seals seams quickly.

It’s the all-inclusive—heat resistant—solution for your electronic assembly needs.

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Take Stock of Your Technical Resources

by Kathy S. on April 8, 2015

Whether you need tips, techniques or industry trends, All-Spec’s Technical Resources page promises to keep you in the know. Technically speaking: Our value-added reference center includes dozens of articles and white papers on a broad range of topics.

Did you know you can explore the latest on static control and storage or research product updates in lighting and labeling? Browse by category for the solutions that matter to you. We’ve got you covered.

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6 Reasons to Try: ALPHA® Telecore HF-850

by Michelle R. on April 3, 2015

Rethink your everyday soldering requirements with a safe, environmental solution from Alpha. Both halogen- and halide-free, Telecore HF-850 is Alpha’s fastest wetting and lowest spattering cored wire. With its clear, no clean residue, Telecore HF-850 is the perfect solution for common soldering tasks and more. Read on for our top reasons to give this earth-friendly option a try.

  1. Fast wetting ensures low cycle times for assembly and touch-ups.
  2. Low spatter leaves less residue and is safer and easier to use.
  3. Halogen-and halide-free properties offer an environmentally sound solution.
  4. Excellent spread characteristics ensure first pass solder joints.
  5. Low fume levels reduce extraction maintenance.
  6. Clear, non-tacky residue ensures cosmetics and allows for easy inspection.

Engineered for use with virtually any industrial or electronics no-clean soldering task, Alpha Telecore HF-850 is in stock now at All-Spec. Shop our wide selection for great savings every day.

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Loctite Anti-Seize: Have You Made the Switch?

by Michelle R. on April 1, 2015

From the global leader in anti-seize lubricants, discover a product that simply does more. Designed for optimal protection and lubrication, Loctite Anti-Seize is specially formulated to ease assembly and disassembly of threaded joints, slip/press fits and more. Engineered to defend against corrosion, rust, galling and seizure, Loctite Anti-Seize can extend the life of costly fittings while also limiting parts breakage.

But what really sets Loctite Anti-Seize apart? Available in a range of metal-free formulations, there’s a solution for virtually any application. And, when it comes to military specifications, only Loctite Anti-Seize is MIL-PRF-907F certified. So look to the leader – shop Loctite Anti-Seize lubricants at All-Spec.

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