Silicone vs. Latex
While silicone and latex tubing are both thermoset products—meaning that they undergo a chemical reaction to permanently set the tubing's shape—they differ in their performance characteristics and application usage.
Silicone was developed for commercial use in the 1940s. In tubing form it has long been used in the medical field, as it meets that industry's requirements for cleanliness and non-toxicity. Another of silicone's major features—resistance to extreme temperature variations—has enabled its use in applications where flexible tubing is needed to handle temperatures not possible with other plastics or rubbers.
Silicone tubing is extremely pliable and elastic. No plasticizers (ingredients used to impart flexibility) are needed. Silicone tubing is unaltered by the effects of weather and generally exhibits inertness toward U.V. radiation and ozone, making it an excellent choice for electrically-associated applications. Its ingredients are non-toxic and conform to FDA standards. Silicone tubing can withstand a number of sterilization processes.
Uses for silicone tubing include appliances, beverage service, biomedical and biopharmaceutical production, bodily fluid handling, computer components, deionized water transfer, food service, gaskets and 'o'-rings, insulation sleeves, medical and dental appliances, pharmaceutical manufacturing, seals and thermal protection.
NewAge offers several styles of silicone tubing. It is available peroxide or platinum cured, in medical grades, with braid reinforcement and in a full-vacuum-rated, wrapped style.
Natural latex rubber tubing has been used extensively in the health care industry for many years, both for fluid transfer and as tourniquets. Its flexibility and ability to withstand repeated stretching led to its expansion into the food, toy, and sporting goods fields.
Latex tubing typically retains its memory after repeated bending, elongation, or pulsating forces. Like silicone there are no added plasticizers, coagulants, or fillers to migrate and contaminate the stream or cause tube hardening. Latex tubing is manufactured from non-toxic ingredients and withstands repeated sterilization.
Its common uses include drain tubing, elastic bands, exercise devices, medical connector lines, non-aerosol cans, photographic chemicals, shock absorbers and tourniquet bands.
Latex tubing is manufactured with natural latex material to which some people are allergic. Polyisoprene, or synthetic latex, can also be supplied. It offers a higher level of translucency, as natural latex's color can be considered quite dark.
Talk with one of NewAge's Fluid Transfer Specialists if you have questions or for more information on silicone and latex tubing.
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