How to Select Plastic Tubing              Image Credit: ICO RALLY | Automationdirect.com | Ark-Plas® Products, Inc.   Plastic tubing is tubing constructed from plastic compounds for use in fluid flow or structural systems, or as insulation or sheathing for electrical or heating assemblies. Plastic tube is lightweight and versatile, used commonly as flow lines for fluids and gases in pneumatic,...
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Q & A on Plastic Tubing

We asked our users for their input on Plastic Tubing. Here are the results of 75 users familiar with Plastic Tubing.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice |

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing plastic tubing design?
11 answers
Answers:
Tubing sizes are getting smaller and quality, air pressure regulation is a very important part in the manufacturing of extruded tubing. Our regulators can now regulate as low as 0.05" of water.
~Kay D, Manufacturer, Hudson, MA
The robotics industry is fast becoming a growing consumer of many types of tubing; synthetic alternatives to traditional sources for replacement are also coming into demand.
~Quality Control, Cypress, TX
Better servo systems on the extruder controls. Better polymers making up the tubing. Oil based, soy bean, PTFE, urethane....
~Jeff Witt, Marketing/Sales, West Chester, OH
Coextruded tubing, additives that expand the function and features, ie. additives that produce color when laser etched.
~Tim S, Technical Support, Chicago, IL
New plastic resin innovations are changing material and pipe design. Better resins mean higher pressure ratings.
~Barb D, Corporate Quality Director, Fort Worth, TX
Integrating electrical conductors into fluid pipes - eg data logging flow / pressure.
~Ray B, Design Engineer, Oxford, England
Resistant to deformation in variable temperature applications.
~Chester Cuachon, Engineer, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
New materials and more productive production processes.
~Daniel Martínez M, Research & Development, Bogotá, Colombia
Quick Connection
~OUALI M, Engineer, Casablanca, Morocco
A.P extrusion
~Sweety P, Student, Chalisgaon, India
Educate me
~Steve M, Product Aplication, Joliet, IL

Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative plastic tubing?
8 answers
Answers:
Most companies are making the same product as the standards the pipe/tubing is made to are not flexible. WL Plastics makes "Cam core" pipe which has a reflective inner surface excellent for using with camera applications.
~Barb D, Corporate Quality Director, Fort Worth, TX
While there are many companies with innovative processes, application is important in this respect.
~Quality Control, Cypress, TX
Parker, Freelin Wade, US Plastic, Hudson tubing, and many more
~Jeff Witt, Marketing/Sales, West Chester, OH
Medical applications in the area of nano tubing.
~Tim S, Technical Support, Chicago, IL
Suzhou New Chicheng Machinery co.Ltd
~Sweety P, Student, Chalisgaon, India
Sadly none are in the UK.
~Ray B, Design Engineer, Oxford, England
Saint Gobain
~OUALI M, Engineer, Casablanca, Morocco
SMC
~Chester Cuachon, Engineer, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used plastic tubing for?
18 answers
Answers:
The versatility of tubing lends itself to many applications from medical rehabilitation to spearfishing, sometimes using the exact same product. I have made sling-shots from left-over tubing, exercise equipment, repair/replacement, medical, and just about anything can be applied at use.
~Quality Control, Cypress, TX
Pneumatic controls, transmitting parts (blow feeding), Vacuum both parts and materials. Oil collection systems using plastic tubing. Food processing and medical application using tubing.
~Jeff Witt, Marketing/Sales, West Chester, OH
Medical lab instrument design; intravenous human application, in vivo & in vitro animal experimentation, horticulture applications, aquaculture applications.
~Research & Development, Leitchfield, KY
Water service & drainage design and installation, filtering, ion transfer reduction; Electrical & communications ducting; and Small structural applications.
~Engineering, Other, Washington, DC
We sell into irrigation, potable water, gas gathering and gas distribution services, as well as many other services.
~Barb D, Corporate Quality Director, Fort Worth, TX
Drinking water lines, chemical lines from pumps, on sodium chloride generators, and chlorine feed lines.
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Evansville, IN
Lighting systems - bespoke General purpose for illuminated water features
~Ray B, Design Engineer, Oxford, England
Medical device applications ( catheters, feeding tubes, and IV sets)
~Tim S, Technical Support, Chicago, IL
Home construction,industrial application ,electrical wiring
~Sweety P, Student, Chalisgaon, India
Manufactoring applications, food service, and pneumatics.
~Maintenance/Facilities Management, Pekin, IL
Laboratory cooling water, air lines, clamp cushioning
~Engineering, Faculty/Staff/Student, Lisle, IL
Fuel line n air line of automobi;
~Avinash Udapure, Engineering Consultant, Pune, India
Air, oil, water chemicaqls etc.
~Steve M, Product Aplication, Joliet, IL
Raw materials and production
~Daniel Martínez M, Research & Development, Bogotá, Colombia
Spraying, Filtration ...
~OUALI M, Engineer, Casablanca, Morocco
Transport, pneumaic
~Research & Development, Losone, Switzerland
Fluids, Pneumatics
~Chester Cuachon, Engineer, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Culture pumping
~Engineering, Process/Production, Vilnius, Lithuania

Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that plastic tubing has been used for.
7 answers
Answers:
The outside of the tubing was used as an exterior protector for the metal components on the inside. Pressure was not required.
~Steve M, Product Aplication, Joliet, IL
We used clear plastic tubing filled with water as a light guide - carries light well.
~Ray B, Design Engineer, Oxford, England
The development of AI is a major player, or will be.
~Quality Control, Cypress, TX
Fitting-in a shim to deformed tubings.
~Chester Cuachon, Engineer, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
As support or in electrical systems.
~Daniel Martínez M, Research & Development, Bogotá, Colombia
Drainage, directional drilling
~Barb D, Corporate Quality Director, Fort Worth, TX
Oil collection systems
~Jeff Witt, Marketing/Sales, West Chester, OH

Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of plastic tubing?
8 answers
Answers:
Yep , in my father's industry the pipes used were not able to sustain the temp and so at this high temp. Pipes cracked and many workers were injured due to this accident.Ddifferent pipes grades are to be used at specific required place but the plumber used them at work place which resulted in this accident.
~Sweety P, Student, Chalisgaon, India
I have seen chemicals affect improperly selected tubing, costing some a bundle by repeatedly using the same stuff and just buying more of it for replacement when the proper tubing would have lasted.
~Quality Control, Cypress, TX
Using plastic fittings/tube when connecting high pressure water mains to domestic property. Current failure rates for 5yr+ installs are causing concern for utility companies in the UK.
~Ray B, Design Engineer, Oxford, England
Mishandling of tubing/piping in the field causes blow outs and major leaks. Using the pipe at higher than rated temperatures and pressures have caused major problems at sites.
~Barb D, Corporate Quality Director, Fort Worth, TX
New houses for which their owners had to change the tubing system as it had perforations due to the bad choice of tubing material.
~Daniel Martínez M, Research & Development, Bogotá, Colombia
Under rated tubing used in high pressure applications.
~Chester Cuachon, Engineer, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Other than chemical/temperature resistance
~Steve M, Product Aplication, Joliet, IL
Serious damage to installations
~OUALI M, Engineer, Casablanca, Morocco

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
9 answers
Answers:
Tubing with less weight but same performance, bonding systems solventless
~Daniel Martínez M, Research & Development, Bogotá, Colombia
Good surface finish, high pressure rating and good technical support.
~Barb D, Corporate Quality Director, Fort Worth, TX
Coefficient of friction that would eliminate the need for coating.
~Tim S, Technical Support, Chicago, IL
Availability and price are important as well as longevity.
~Quality Control, Cypress, TX
Better connectors - - push fit only gets you so far.
~Ray B, Design Engineer, Oxford, England
Flexible and High pressure with different colors
~OUALI M, Engineer, Casablanca, Morocco
Greatest flexibility and tightest spec's
~Jeff Witt, Marketing/Sales, West Chester, OH
Depends on application and tubing type
~Steve M, Product Aplication, Joliet, IL
Resistant to harsh applications.
~Chester Cuachon, Engineer, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using plastic tubing?
8 answers
Answers:
Consider using polyethylene tubing for replacements for current metal or concrete piping. When installed properly it is leak free, seamless with very few connections, with a high pressure rating. A great product for infrastructure repairs and new infrastructure.
~Barb D, Corporate Quality Director, Fort Worth, TX
Use good quality pipes required for specific work. cCheck the requirement and then make best use of it.
~Sweety P, Student, Chalisgaon, India
Search current applications and work backwards to find who supplied the parts.
~Ray B, Design Engineer, Oxford, England
Consult the professionals before using tubing on nonstandard applications.
~Jeff Witt, Marketing/Sales, West Chester, OH
To select the tube´s material related to the application.
~Daniel Martínez M, Research & Development, Bogotá, Colombia
Take the best tube that best suit the application.
~Chester Cuachon, Engineer, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
Take care with pressure
~OUALI M, Engineer, Casablanca, Morocco
Think global.
~Quality Control, Cypress, TX

Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of plastic tubing?
6 answers
Answers:
Do not assume that whatever product that is currently in use is the only viable option for replacement, consider the alternatives! Know your pressure rating needs, and what standards you really need to have the pipe made to.
~Barb D, Corporate Quality Director, Fort Worth, TX
To select the tube´s material related to the application, and ask for recommendations to the tubing producers as they know how to use properly their products.
~Daniel Martínez M, Research & Development, Bogotá, Colombia
Before buying check exactly at what temp you need them since at high temp their strength decreases and cracks are formed.
~Sweety P, Student, Chalisgaon, India
Never use polyurethane on pressure decay leak test...it leaks.
~Jeff Witt, Marketing/Sales, West Chester, OH
Keep application, environment, and ratings in mind.
~Quality Control, Cypress, TX
Choose a good fitting to a good tubing.
~OUALI M, Engineer, Casablanca, Morocco


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