White PaperMaterials

PVC vs. Polyurethane Tubing


Polyurethane and PVC tubing is used in applications involving beverage and dairy transfer, food processing, medical devices, chemicals, fuel and oil transfer, protective jacketing, instrumentation and pneumatics, granular material transfer, and many others. But there are a host of factors that help determine which material is best suited for a particular use… things like temperature resistance, reinforcement options, regulatory compliance, the ability to be formed into shapes, and more.

This white paper examines each material and notes strengths, drawbacks, and typical applications. For example, the report presents PVC as a tubing material with one of the broadest ranges of uses due to its excellent chemical and corrosion resistance, flow characteristics, and abrasion resistance. Polyurethane is noted for its superior elongation values (its stretchability), natural flexibility, fuel and oil resistance, and weathering characteristics.

Similarities and differences are explored as well. For example, both materials offer low gas permeability, resistance to kinking, and the ability to be heat formed and thermally bonded. Both accept transparent or opaque coloration well. Differences such as temperature resistance, the need for additives during manufacture, and product cost are noted.

Easy-to-read charts that compare physical properties such as hardness, tensile strength and working pressures, as well as standards met (FDA, NSF), color and country of manufacture, are included in the white paper.

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