Tubing Buying Tips Revisited: Flammability

Tubing and reinforced hose applications that involve high temperatures or electricity can lead to concerns about fire safety and flammability. When your application involves high temperatures, you have reason to be cautious.

Have you considered what would happen to the tubing if it caught on fire? Is it non-flammable? Will it self-extinguish? Could it give off poisonous fumes? It depends on the material.

Some tubing and hose, such as that made from particular polypropylene-based, thermoplastic rubber formulas, meets burn ratings established by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Silicone tubing will self-extinguish, and fluoropolymer is non-flammable. Certain silicone and fluoropolymer formulations can withstand temperatures as high as 500°F (260°C) and may be used in electrically associated applications.

Other tubing, however, can release hazardous chemicals, acids and particulates when burned. One example is the high-performance synthetic rubber, Viton™. It withstands temperatures up to 400°F (204°C), but when burned, it releases noxious fumes.

Be sure to consider the likelihood of fire or burning when selecting tubing or hose for your application. If your supplier is unable to provide flammability and safety data, evaluate the choices carefully. Never test a product for flame retardance before you understand what may occur.

Courtesy of NewAge Industries.