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A Guide to Polyurethane Tubing and Suitable Applications

When choosing the ideal hose for your application, selecting the right material is key. Polyurethane is one of the most common materials used. But why choose polyurethane?

polyurethane hose for pneumatic lines

What Is Polyurethane?

Polyurethane (also known as PU) is a type of plastic, commonly used in the design and manufacturing of hoses. It has a number of resistant features that make it one of the more popular materials to be used.

Features include:

  • Abrasion resistance – Polyurethane hoses are less prone to abrasions, due to the tougher material.
  • Pressure resistance – Hoses made from PU are able to withstand higher amounts of pressure, unlike less durable hoses that can weaken.
  • Temperature resistance – PU hoses are able to withstand more extreme temperatures. They are able to hold their flexibility in low temperatures and are able to withstand higher temperatures without the risk of abrasions.
  •  Chemical resistance – PU has a high chemical resistance to many chemicals and solvents (with the exception of acidic media), making it ideal for industrial and pneumatic applications.

What Is Polyurethane Tubing Used For?

Hoses made from polyurethane are versatile and ideal for a wide range of applications. Our range of PU hoses each have unique properties, making them suitable for a number of uses, from fuel transfer to robotics.

pneumatic polyurethane tube

Our Pneumatic Polyurethane Tube offers kink resistance, with minimum kink memory. With a temperature range of 55°C to minus 40°C it is suitable for high pressure applications, such as chemical transfer and pneumatic applications.

polyurethane air hose

PU hoses can also have differing designs. Polyurethane Compact Coils are made up of a preformed polyurethane coil, able to withstand temperatures up to 65°C and down to minus 20°C, without losing their flexibility. These PU coils are ideal for applications involving extreme temperatures, such as robotics applications, as well as use with industrial air tools.

reinforced polyurethane hose

Polyurethane Reinforced Hose offers outstanding flexibility, with kink and abrasion resistance that’s expected with PU. With a temperature range of 65°C to minus 40°C, it’s versatile enough to be suited for a number of conveyance applications from dry powders and granules, to the conveyance of gases and liquids.

Is Polyurethane Tubing Food Safe?

Unless WRAS approved, polyurethane tubing is generally not food safe, nor is it suitable for drinking water applications.

PU hoses are more likely to transfer odours and tastes to the substance it is conveying, compared to other materials, such as PVC.

polyurethane hose for fuel

Which is Better? PVC or Polyurethane?

When choosing the ideal hose for your application, it’s important to consider the material. We have put together a detailed article, arguing both sides of the polyurethane hose vs PVC debate.

Other Uses for PU

PU is a robust and anti-abrasive material on its own, but it can be layered with other materials, in order to create stronger hoses.

pu paint and fluid hose

Our Paint & Fluid hose contains four layers. A polyamide liner, a PU interlayer, terylene reinforcement, and a PU cover for optimum flexibility. Fully flexible even at extreme temperatures, from 75oC down to minus 40oC, it is compatible with most manufacturers’ systems when used for spray paint purposes.

polyurethane welding hose

Designed for use in welding applications, where tubing is likely to come in to contact with weld spatter and sparks, the Weld Spatter Tube is made up of a PU tubing, for optimum flexibility and abrasion resistance, with a flame retardant PVC, for added protection.

multi-purpose pu lined hose

The Multi-Purpose PU Lined Hose contains anti-abrasive PU lining, PVC compounds and polyester yarn, for added reinforcement. Ideal for pneumatic tools in general and anti-abrasive applications. The PU lining material is WRAS approved, making it safe for use with drinking water and food applications.

PU hoses and PU tubes offer many benefits and are ideal for a variety of applications. Their abrasion and temperature resistance provide longevity and are best suited to environments that could weaken other hoses or tubes.

You can view our PU range here, as well as our full product range. If you have any queries regarding our products, please feel free to get in touch with a member of our team at sales@copely.com.