Rubber hoses are an industry staple due to their flexibility, relatively low cost, and wide availability. However, in the process of selecting the right hose, you might realise that rubber hoses are not always the optimum choice for industrial needs where chemicals transferred may be corrosive or of very high temperatures. Indeed, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to hoses, and there may be cases where another type of hose, like Teflon hoses, may be more appropriate.
Teflon hoses are arguably one of the most versatile in the market today. The name comes from the polymer material that lines the inner surface of the hose – the same material used to coat non-stick pans. Also known as PTFE – Polytetrafluoroethylene – Teflon has some great properties, like being chemically inert (‘unreactive’), lubricious (‘non-stick’), and highly durable.
In some cases, rubber hoses may be a better choice than Teflon. But here are some reasons why you might choose a Teflon hose over a rubber one.
Teflon is more corrosion resistant
With a rubber hose, there are more limitations on what you can transport with it. Over time, certain materials will wear down the rubber, posing a risk of leaks. With the transport of hazardous materials, this is not a risk you want to take. Even if the chemical you transport is not dangerous, lower durability of the hose and leaks will add unwanted costs and losses that could have been prevented.
On the other hand, Teflon is chemically neutral and inert, meaning it doesn’t react with most other chemicals. For this reason, Teflon is a fantastic choice for transporting reactive chemicals, as it won’t corrode or damage the surface of the hose. With a hose like this, it can last a long time without the need for expensive maintenance or replacement costs.
Teflon is more heat resistant
When it comes to handling high temperatures and pressures, Teflon wins over the rubber. Rubber runs the risk of melting or bursting in high temperatures and pressures, causing danger and messy clean-up for workers. But Teflon can tolerate temperatures up to 260°C and handle high pressures without blowing, which is good for most applications of industrial hoses.
For applications where high temperature or rapid changes in temperature is anticipated, Teflon stands as the better choice over the rubber. But for ultimate durability and extreme temperature resistance, it’s worth considering steel hoses as well.
Teflon does not hold onto liquids
Remember how Teflon is essentially the non-stick coating of frying pans? Teflon has such low friction that it is currently known as the solid with the lowest coefficient of friction. That lubricious property has benefits for the transport of liquids, too. Less smooth surfaces may cause sediment and particles to build up in the hose, reducing the flow rate and increasing the cleaning frequency required. Teflon avoids these problems altogether by causing virtually no build-up and maximising the flow rate.
When efficiency and ease of use are of topmost priority, Teflon hoses are the preferred choice.
While Teflon and rubber hoses share fundamental properties like being flexible and water resistant, key differences like Teflon’s non-stick surface, higher temperature resistance, and chemical neutrality make it a better candidate for certain industrial uses.
At Pharmchem Engineering, we supply made-to-measure hose fittings, including rubber, Teflon, and also steel hoses. Additionally, we design and install a variety of other industrial fittings like fabric expansion joints, couplings, and anti-vibration mounts. If you need a custom-made solution, contact us with the details and requirements of your project, and let us handle the rest for you!