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Choosing Between Metal, Rubber and Metal Flex Tube Assemblies

There are 3 types of fluid lines. These are rubber; metal and metal flex tube assemblies. It is important to know which type is the most suitable for your application as each of them has its own strength and weaknesses. Consider these pros and cons of the different Tube Assemblies by Spinco Metal Products.

Metal hose assemblies

These are also known as hard lines assemblies. They are fabricated by cutting & bending heavy tubing before attaching tube fittings at the ends. Some of the common materials are stainless steel and carbon steel. Others include aluminum, nickel arroy and copper.

Pros of metal hose assemblies

*     Great flow
*     Its lighter than rubber
*     Ability to handle pressures of over 6000psi
*     Great heat dissipation
*     Lasts longer than rubber assemblies
*     Less expensive than metal flex and rubber hose assemblies
*     Its outside diameter is smaller than that of rubber hose assemblies despite having the same inside diameter. This offers space efficiency
*     Highly resistant to heat
*     Tighter bend radius as compared to metal flex or rubber hose.

Con of metal hose assemblies

*     Not very flexible
*     Not suitable for high vibration applications
*     Requires frequent maintenance especially when exposed to moisture and other corrosive environments.

Rubber hoses

To fabricate rubber hoses, bulk hoses are cut to length and attached to the end of the hose either by swaging, crimping or other similar methods.

Pros of rubber hoses

*     Easier to fix or route a tube assembly through different obstacles
*     Easier to replace
*     More readily available than the metal flex or hard line assembly.
*     Available in a wide range of tube types that can be used in a variety of applications
*     pressure ratings of up to 10,000 psi
*     Resists vibration particularly when used with proper fittings

Cons of rubber hoses

*     Does not withstand much pressure or external forces as the hard line assemblies
*     Aren’t space efficient like the hard lines
*     Needs to be replaced regularly

Pros of metal flex hose assemblies

*     Great resistance to heat
*      High pressure rating

Cons of metal flex hose assembly

*     If not properly welded, leakage can occur
*      Not readily available in many markets

Conclusion

Choose the tube assemblies that are suitable for your application. A great solution to a unique challenge is to have a combination of the metal lines and flexible lines. This is particularly important if there is severe vibration. For all your hose assemblies needs, contact Spinco Metal Products, Inc.

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