The Benefits of Plastic of Tubing
Many people underestimate the ability of plastic tubing to withstand extreme industrial conditions. To them, plastic seems like material that can only be used in industries which do not require great amounts of pressure and heat. However, nothing can be farther from the truth.
Plastic tubing made from tough resin, like polysulfone, can withstand extreme temperatures and pressure. Plastic can also be made to resist chemicals and other corrosive actions. Below is a rundown of the benefits of using plastics tubing.
If tubes and pipes made from other materials are to be used to transfer corrosive substances, they have to be treated to withstand the constant presence of such substances. This is not the case with plastic tubing. If a plastic tube needs to be resistant to another substance, then that resistance is made to be a part of the tube during manufacturing. Thus, the resistance a plastic tube to corrosive substances is a part of its chemical composition. Therefore, plastic tubing can guarantee more functionality and better results without the extra cost of treatment.
When we crunch the numbers, plastic tubes may not beat steel and stainless steel in terms of tensile strength. However, things are different when we start looking at material cost. The amount of money require to manufacture half a dozen pieces of stainless steel tubes for a section of a large manufacturing process can create hundreds of flexible and cut to size plastic tubes of a similar level of durability for a given purpose.
The durability of plastic depends on wall thickness and resin blend. The strength of tubing to be used for a particular purpose has to be propositional to the level of stress it’s going to be exposed to. If plastic tubing is placed within moving part or used to transfer water and lubricants in a machine, it will obviously be pressed, bumped, crimped, or even slammed from time to time. But even steel, with all its strength, face similar challenges. The difference is that steel can only take so much damage before giving out. On the other hand, plastic tubing with thick walls lends its tensile strength and can take a lot more damage before it can even show any signs of stress fatigue.
The versatility of plastic is probably one of its greatest features. Plastics tubing can be made for use is many more different areas compared to steel and stainless steel. Plastic tubing is the most versatile when it comes to outfitting intricate machining designs as well as delicate medical equipment. Plastic tubes can be cut to approximate or exact length and threaded throughout a machine with the minimum use of fittings.
Another example that illustrates the versatility of plastic tubing is in the field of electronics. Heat shrink tubing is used to fit over and insulate the finest and tiniest electronic circuits in the smallest electronic chips for use in cell phones, computers, and GPS systems. In the medical field, it is apparent that no other tubing material can create the diameters in intricate and sensitive medical devices such as medical pumps and EKG sensors.
In conclusion, it is apparent that there are myriad benefits associated with plastic tubing. Cleary, plastic extrusion offers more cost effective tubing solutions without necessarily compromising on durability and functionality. Besides, plastic tubing offers versatility compared to steel and stainless steel as it can easily be adopted in a plethora of applications.