The term silicone hose refers to a family of flexible tubes or pipes made of various formulations of silicone rubber. These products exhibit the unique characteristics of silicone materials which include a wide range of working temperatures, flexibility, stability, and resistance to many chemicals. Silicone hoses may be laminated with woven reinforcement fibers for pressurized applications or left plain for nominal pressure applications. Silicone hose is used in a variety of applications which require inert, temperature resistant products in the medical, automotive, chemical, and food processing industries. The hoses may also be produced in a wide variety of application-specific profiles or as continuous, rolled lengths and may be joined or connected with most standard fittings.
Silicone rubber is a versatile material consisting of silicone, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. It is thermally stable and may be used in applications with temperatures ranging from -67° to 570°F (-55° to 300°C). It is resistant to a variety of chemicals and to protracted ozone and ultraviolet (UV) exposure. In addition, silicone rubber products have good mechanical characteristics and stand up to stretching, compression, and tearing. Silicone rubber does, however, have a low tensile strength when compared to other rubber compounds.
Silicone hose products combine the aforementioned positive characteristics of silicone rubber, thereby making them durable and versatile with a wide range of uses. They are available in a variety of inner profiles, diameters, and specialized formulations to suit most applications. The hoses are suitable for applications featuring moderately high pressures when reinforced grades are employed. These reinforced hoses feature a braid of woven fibers which are laminated into the walls of the tube, thereby forming a protective and pressure resistant sheath within the material. Non-braided silicone hose is also available in low pressure applications.
Extreme temperature environments are another popular area of use for silicone hose products. Depending on the specific formulation of the rubber, the hoses may be installed in processes involving high, or low, temperature gases and fluids. This makes these products appropriate for the food processing and automotive industries as process tubing, cooling, and turbo charger hoses. Silicone hose is also well suited to outdoor applications because it does not degrade when exposed to ozone or UV radiation for long periods. The products' sterile and inert nature also see them utilized extensively in medical applications.
These products are available in either off-the-roll lengths or as preformed, application-specific parts. These include U sections, bends, elbows, and stepped diameter profiles. Silicone hose may be joined and connected with most standard flexible coupling devices.