Nylon tubing is a type of plastic tubing made from nylon polymers using extrusion. Nylon was first developed in the 1930s by the DuPont Company as a replacement for silk in stockings. However, its unique properties, such as high tensile strength and chemical resistance, made it a popular material for many other applications.
The development of nylon tubing followed shortly after the invention of nylon itself, and it was first used in the automotive industry for fuel lines and brake lines in the 1940s. Nylon tubing quickly gained popularity due to its excellent chemical resistance, pressure rating, and durability.
Over time, nylon tubing has been developed and improved to meet the changing needs of various industries. In addition, new formulations of nylon have been created to enhance its properties, such as increasing flexibility and reducing water absorption.
Nylon tubing remains popular for many applications across industries, from automotive and industrial manufacturing to medical equipment and aerospace engineering.
This article will explore the properties, applications, and the limitations of nylon tubing. By understanding the features of this material, readers can determine whether it is suitable for their specific applications and needs.
Properties of Nylon Tubing
Nylon tubing has several unique properties that make it a popular choice for various applications. These properties include chemical resistance, temperature resistance, abrasion resistance, pressure rating, and flexibility.
- Chemical Resistance: Nylon tubing is resistant to various chemicals, including oils, fuels, acids, and solvents. This makes it suitable for use in applications where exposure to these chemicals is common.
- Temperature Resistance: Nylon tubing has a temperature range of -40°C to 120°C (-40°F to 248°F), making it suitable for use in a variety of temperature environments.
- Abrasion Resistance: Nylon tubing is highly resistant to abrasion, making it suitable for use in applications where it may be exposed to rubbing or scraping.
- Pressure Rating: Nylon tubing is high-pressure, making it suitable for pneumatic and hydraulic systems.
- Flexibility: Nylon tubing is flexible and easy to handle, making it suitable for applications requiring flexibility.
Understanding the properties of nylon tubing is important when selecting the appropriate material for a specific application. By considering the chemical resistance, temperature resistance, abrasion resistance, pressure rating, and flexibility users can select the best type of nylon tubing for their particular needs.
Types of Nylon Tubing
Nylon tubing is available in two primary forms: extruded and cast nylon tubing. Each type has unique characteristics and is suitable for different applications.
Extruded Nylon Tubing
Extruded nylon tubing is formed by melting nylon pellets and forcing the molten material through a die to create a tube shape. The process is typically fast and cost-effective, making extruded nylon tubing a popular choice for many applications. Some features and advantages of extruded nylon tubing include the following:
- Manufacturing Process: The extrusion involves melting nylon pellets and forcing the molten material through a die to create a tube shape. The tubing is then cooled and cut to the desired length.
- Features and Advantages: Extruded nylon tubing is lightweight, flexible, and easy to handle. It is also resistant to abrasion, chemicals, and impact, making it suitable for harsh environments. It has good dimensional stability and can easily form various shapes and sizes. Extruded nylon tubing has a high-pressure rating, making it suitable for pneumatic and hydraulic systems.
- Applications: Extruded nylon tubing is commonly used in various industries, including automotive, industrial manufacturing, medical equipment, and aerospace engineering. It is often used as a conduit for fluids, gasses, and air, as well as in electrical and electronic applications.
Cast Nylon Tubing
Cast nylon tubing is plastic tubing made from nylon polymers using casting. It is made by pouring molten nylon into a mold, allowing it to cool and solidify. The process is typically slower and more expensive than extrusion, resulting in a more uniform and higher-quality product. Some features and advantages of cast nylon tubing include the following:
- Features and Advantages: Cast nylon tubing has excellent dimensional stability and a uniform wall thickness, making it suitable for precision applications. It is also resistant to chemicals, abrasion, and impact, making it ideal for harsh environments. Cast nylon tubing has a high load-bearing capacity, making it suitable for bearings and bushings.
- Applications: Cast nylon tubing is commonly used in the food and beverage industry, as well as in industrial manufacturing, medical equipment, and aerospace engineering. It is often used in applications requiring high precision and load-bearing capacity.
Limitations of Nylon Tubing
Although nylon tubing has many advantages there are also many limitations that should be considered when selecting nylon tubing for a specific application.
- UV Resistance: Nylon tubing has low UV resistance, which means this material may degrade over time when exposed to sunlight. This makes it less suitable for outdoor applications.
- Water Absorption: Nylon tubing can absorb water, affecting its properties and performance. This can be a disadvantage in applications where water absorption is not desired.
- Flammability: Nylon tubing is flammable, which can be a disadvantage in applications where it may be exposed to heat or flame.
- Cost: Nylon tubing can be more expensive than other plastic tubing materials such as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It can also be more expensive than some metal tubing materials like copper and aluminum. However, the cost of tubing materials can vary depending on factors such as availability, manufacturing process, and application requirements.
Understanding the limitations of nylon tubing is important when selecting the appropriate material for a specific application. Considering these factors, users can determine whether nylon tubing is the best choice.
Applications of Nylon Tubing
Nylon tubing is used in many applications across many industries due to its unique properties and versatility. Some common applications of nylon tubing include:
- Pneumatics and Hydraulics
- Nylon tubing is commonly used in pneumatics and hydraulics for air and fluid transfer, especially in automated equipment and machinery. Its high-pressure rating, resistance to kinking and crushing, and good flexibility make it ideal for these applications. Nylon tubing is also resistant to oils, solvents, and chemicals commonly used in hydraulic and pneumatic systems.
- Nylon tubing is used extensively in the automotive industry for fuel, brake, and other applications due to its heat, chemical, and abrasion resistance. Nylon tubing is also lightweight, making it a popular choice for reducing vehicle weight, which improves fuel efficiency.
- Industrial Manufacturing
- Due to its chemical resistance, durability, and flexibility, nylon tubing is used in various industrial manufacturing applications, such as conveyors, fluid transfer systems, and chemical processing. Nylon tubing is also used in applications where abrasion resistance is important, such as material handling and processing.
- Medical Equipment
- Nylon tubing is widely used in medical equipment such as catheters, IV sets, and other devices due to its flexibility, biocompatibility, and low toxicity. In addition, nylon tubing is resistant to many chemicals and disinfectants, making it suitable for healthcare settings.
- Aerospace Engineering
- Nylon tubing is used in aircraft such as fuel, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems due to its lightweight, high strength, and chemical resistance. It can also withstand a wide range of temperatures and pressures, making it a popular choice for aerospace applications.
- Food and Beverage
- Nylon tubing is used in food and beverage processing equipment due to its ability to withstand high temperatures and chemical resistance. It is commonly used for fluid transfer and is approved by the FDA for use in food contact applications.
- Robotics and Automation
- Nylon tubing is used in robotics and automation systems due to its flexibility and ability to withstand high pressures and temperatures. It is commonly used for air and fluid transfer, such as in pneumatic and hydraulic actuators.
- Electrical and Electronic Systems
- Nylon tubing is used in electrical and electronic systems as a protective sleeve for wires and cables due to its insulating properties and flexibility. It also protects against abrasion, vibration, and other mechanical stresses.
Overall, nylon tubing is versatile in various applications across many industries. Its unique properties and characteristics make it an excellent choice for applications requiring flexibility, chemical resistance, temperature range, pressure rating, and abrasion resistance.
Nylon tubing is a versatile material that offers a wide range of properties and characteristics, making it suitable for various applications across many industries. Its chemical resistance, temperature range, pressure rating, abrasion resistance, flexibility, and other unique properties make it an excellent choice for applications where these properties are required.
However, nylon tubing has some limitations, such as its low UV resistance, water absorption, flammability, and higher cost than other materials. Therefore, these factors should be carefully considered when selecting nylon tubing for a specific application.
Overall, nylon tubing is a reliable and durable material that has proven to be a popular choice for many applications. Its unique properties and versatility make it a valuable addition to many manufacturing or production processes, helping to improve performance and efficiency while reducing maintenance costs.
For more information on Petro Extrusions nylon tubing and channels, please visit our Nya-Glide page or contact us directly at 800-229-3338.