Applications for plastic tubing vary widely, and the highest quality tubing available isn’t always necessary. For instance, if your application involves a simple drainage tube to transfer condensate from point A to point B at 70°F, with no pressure or vacuum involved, it’s unlikely you’ll need a product that meets stringent requirements. Yes, the tubing must perform the task well, but there’s little reason to over engineer the application.
However, when the application is for high purity fluid transfer involving liquids such as vaccine ingredients, tubing quality is critical. Standards from organizations like the FDA may dictate which tubing and hose materials can be used, and factors such as leachables and extractables (substances that migrate out of the tubing and contaminate fluid flows), material and product curing processes, and traceability may need to be evaluated. Research must be conducted to ensure that the products under consideration meet required standards.
How the tubing is manufactured influences quality as well. Remember that when your tubing application isn’t of a critical nature, you may be able to reduce costs by using tubing that doesn’t meet all sorts of industry certifications. Relatively inexpensive products like unreinforced PVC or polyethylene tubing may fit the bill. And be sure to consider products discontinued by a manufacturer. They may be acceptable for your application and available at reduced cost.
When your application demands nothing but the highest quality tubing, certain silicone materials can be considered. They meet a number of high purity industry standards (pharmaceutical, for example), so they’re often used when cleanliness, extreme flexibility, and both high and low temperature resistance is needed. Fluoropolymer tubing is another top-quality tubing material, and it offers non-stick and chemical resistance properties.
Courtesy of NewAge Industries.