|Tubing & Hose Buying Tips
#8: Reusing Tubing
It can be challenging to make sure you’ve covered all the bases during the tubing and hose selection process. Have you considered all the elements involved with the application? Temperatures, chemicals, pressures, flexibility needs? In Tubing & Hose Buying Tips we’ll address common selection factors, one at a time, in each issue of extrusions.
Plastic tubing is often considered a disposable item, but it doesn’t always have to be. Learning whether the tubing or hose for your application can be cleaned and used again can save you money.
Discover whether the tubing or hose can handle one or more standard cleaning methods. Other important information to know is how many cycles, or how many times, it may be cleaned using the same procedure. Testing for your specific application is best.
Research the best cleaning method for the type of tubing material you have in mind. Can it be autoclaved? Low-pressure steam sterilized? Gamma irradiated? Cleaned with a specific chemical? Does the application call for a simple flush cleaning with water?
Some plastic tubing materials such as polyurethane and PVC are quite durable and chemical resistant. Other materials may handle high temperatures well but not certain cleaning fluids or gases. Depending on the tubing material and cleaning method used, tubing may become brittle or gummy, break down chemically, loose its shape, or absorb the cleaning agent.
Consider, too, that depending on the labor, equipment, and resources involved with cleaning or sterilizing the tubing or hose, it may be more efficient to replace it.
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