Below is a list of payload structure supplies and vendors used to purchase them by the COSGC Lead Institution for workshop purposes. These are considered the basic COSGC balloon payload structure. Many of these items may be purchased at other vendors. This is in no way endorsing the companies mentioned:
Foam Core: Elmer's Black Foamboard - 3/16" (5mm) thick
We purchase this in bulk from Dick Blick Art Supplies ( http://www.dickblick.com/products/elmers-black-foamboard/ ) because we purchase bulk and in big sheets that we then cut. You can usually find this product at local craft or art supply stores.
Insulation: Low-Temperature Polyethylene Foam Rubber Insulation
You can use other insulation, but this one has passed tests well below the temperatures payloads experience during flight. We purchase from McMaster-Carr (http://www.mcmaster.com/#low-temperature-insulation/=z2vzsg ) Both the 1/4" and 1/2" have proven effective for this purpose.
Flight Tube: REQUIRED 3/8"(inner diam) Polyethylene Tubing
This can usually be purchased at hardware stores. We have purchased it at Home Depot, but also at our local store called McGuckins. It is usually on a coil that you can ask to be cut at whatever length you require. The tube should run through the payload, with no more than a couple inches sticking out of either end of the structure. It's ideal if the tub is as straight as possible (to help with the stringing process).
2 metal washers (Galvanized or Zinc-plated, flat)
These keep the flight tube from ripping through the foam core structure. You should use hot glue to keep the washers in place (glued to the structure).
2 paper clips (Smooth - do not get the "nonskid" variety)
Paper clips have been proven to be perfect for holding the flight tube in place, so your payload doesn't slide up and down the tube during flight. They are used like cotter pins - but are easier to maneuver in the flight tube itself. DO NOT use cotter pins, as they are straight and do not bend. The paper clips should be placed so that one of the "bends" is within the flight tube - allowing for plenty of clearance for the flight string to pass through. "Non-skid" paperclips have striations that tend to break if as you unbend the clip to maneuver it in the flight tube.
Detailed instructions on flight tube integration can be found in the User's Guide.
Aluminum Tape is great to use to secure the edges and corners of the payload. It can be purchased at hardware stores or even online. It is sometimes called HVAC Metal Repair Tape or Aluminum Foil Tape.
This is the stuff you find at craft or hobby stores. It is great for use as an adhesive, as it has proven to survive flight. You can use it to strenthen joints in the structure, attach insulation, attach washers... We usually use the smaller sticks and accompanying small "gun".
American Flag Sticker:
Be sure your payload includes an American Flag that is easily visible. This helps identify the payload as "friendly" if it should be discovered by someone other than the recovery team.
A sticker that includes: "Student Scientific Payload" and "If Found Please Contact... and the name and phone number of one of the team members". You can also include your institution name and/or logo.