Chemical Hose: Selecting the Right Hose for Your Industries

Chemical-resistant hoses are an indispensable production element in many industries. A chemical hose is used to transfer acids, bases, or solvents. The types of chemical resistant hoses vary based on different applications. Popular chemical hoses are UHMWPE, XLPE, HDPE, and many more. We can also divide them based on various materials. Therefore, we can see that the market for chemical hoses is diverse. So, we must be careful when choosing the right one for our application.

And therefore, today, we will talk about these critical parameters. It will help you find the best chemical hose for your project in the future. We will begin our discussion with the fundamentals of chemical-resistant hoses. Later, we will evaluate a few essential factors that determine the suitable choice for your application.

What is A Chemical Hose?

A chemical hose is a flexible rubber, plastic, or metal pipe. Their material composition is specially designed to resist aggressive chemicals. Its primary purpose is to transfer corrosive liquids, acids, bases, and solvents from one location to another. The use of chemicals can be seen in food & beverage, chemical processing, oil & gas industries, and more. Chemical-resistant hoses provide unique features for resisting the corrosive substances they transport.

  1. Chemically Inert: The inner tube of a chemical hose is made from chemical resistive materials. The molecular structure prevents the conveyed materials from interacting with the hose material. It doesn’t allow the inner hose material to interact with the substances being conveyed.
  2. Reinforcement layers: In most chemical hoses, you may find textile braids, wire helix, or a combination of both.
  3. Temperature resistance: Chemical hoses are specially designed to operate in diverse temperature ranges.
  4. Pressure rating: Chemical hoses can also work under a wide range of pressure.

Structure of A Chemical Resistant Hose

A chemical hose usually comes with multiple layers of construction. This structure is crucial for the hose’s handling of various corrosive substances. It also maintains the integrity of the conveyed materials. The cross-sectional area of a chemical-resistant hose consists of four main parts.

  1. Inner Tube Layer: The inner tube is the primary barrier between the conveyed chemicals and the hose components. Typically, it is made of materials resistant to specific chemicals. In most cases, UHMWPE, XLPE, PTFE, and EPDM are used.
  2. Reinforcement Layer provides strength and flexibility to the hose. Its primary function is to withstand pressure & stress. Popular reinforcement materials include high-strength synthetic fibers, wire braids, or helical wires. It depends on the hose’s intended application & pressure requirements.
  3. Cover material protects the hose from abrasion, weathering, and chemical exposure. The cover material also depends on exposure to sunlight, ozone, and various chemical exposures. Common cover materials are EPDM, neoprene, or other synthetic rubber.
  4. End fittings play a crucial role in connecting the hose to other components of the fluid transfer system. These fittings are typically made of metals or chemical-resistant plastics.

Why Do We Need Specialized Chemical Hoses for Industrial Applications?

Chemical hoses are an indispensable element in industrial applications. It provides protection & ensures worker safety, and safeguards production equipment. These hoses are designed to withstand aggressive chemicals, acids, bases, or solvents. Technically, industries generally require such configuration for efficient and smooth production.

Protection Against Chemical Spills & Leaks

Chemicals are harmful to our human skin. It even poses life-threatening situations. Therefore, chemical spills and leaks are hazardous, especially in industrial settings. Chemical hoses are, in this case, engineered to contain and control the flow of these chemicals. You know chemical hoses can withstand aggressive chemicals. Therefore, they prevent hazardous substances from escaping into the surrounding environment.

Worker’s Safety & Equipment

The safety of the workers is the most important in any industrial operation. Chemical hoses are designed to handle specific temperature and pressure. Therefore, it ensures worker’s safety. In addition, these hoses protect equipment from corrosion and damage caused by exposure to harsh chemicals.

Avoid Contamination In The Manufacturing Process

Many industrial processes, like food and beverages, involve handling multiple chemicals. A chemical hose, in this case, avoids cross-contamination between these chemicals. Therefore, it ultimately contributes to the overall quality of the manufactured product.

Selecting The Right Hose for Chemical & Petrochemical Applications

Selecting the proper chemical hose is compulsory to ensure workers’ and equipment’s safety. We have already discussed these importances in the preceding section. This section will explore how to choose the right product for your project. To do this, we will evaluate four primary factors. These are types of hose, intended applications, chemicals, and certifications.

Factor 1: Choose the Right Types

When selecting the proper chemical hose for industrial applications, choosing the right type is the first step. It is necessary to have a sufficient knowledge of these types and their specific applications. Six popular types of chemical hoses can be seen.

  1. UHMWPE Hose stands for Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Hose. It is the most prevalent chemical hose in the world. They are known for their excellent chemical resistance properties. UHMWPE can deal with almost all types of chemicals, including aggressive acids and bases.
  2. XLPE Hose is made from cross-linked polyethylene. They are designed to handle chemicals with moderate to high concentrations.
  3. HDPE, or high-density polyethylene hose, is a thermoplastic polymer made from ethylene monomers. It comes through the production process called polymerization.
  4. FEP rubber hose is a copolymer of hexafluoropropylene and tetrafluoroethylene. They are known for their excellent chemical resistance, low friction, and thermal stability.
  5. UPE Hose comes from a polymerization process of ethylene monomers. This chemical hose is famous for its strength, low friction, and self-lubricating properties.
  6. EPDM synthetic rubber hoses are known for their versatility and compatibility. Although they can’t handle solid acids or bases. For mild aggressive chemicals, the EPDM chemical hose is a cost-effective option.

Types Based on Materials

On the other hand, based on construction materials, we can divide chemical hoses into four categories.

  1. PTFE is a type of plastic. It belongs to the family of synthetic fluoropolymer plastics. This material offers excellent chemical resistance ability. Thus, we can find the use of PTFE in chemical & petrochemical industries.  
  2. Composite hose compromises multiple layers of different materials. It provides a combination of flexibility and chemical resistance.
  3. Rubber Hose, on the other hand, depends on the elastomer used. They can handle a variety of chemicals. Note that they are especially suitable for flexibility and durability in transporting fluids.
  4. Metal Hose comes with a metal inner core. It offers high strength and durability. They are ideal for use in extreme temperatures.

Factor 2: Intended Applications

Understanding intended applications is crucial for selecting the correct hose type. Different industries and production processes demand specific chemical-resistant hoses. Choosing the proper hose is necessary to ensure optimal performance and safety. The chemical-resistant hoses are ideal for petrochemical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and agriculture industries.

In the petrochemical industry, chemical hoses transfer various petroleum-based substances safely. In the pharmaceutical industry, they convey chemicals for drug manufacturing. Consequently, chemical hoses are also prevalent in agriculture for pesticide and fertilizer distribution. Therefore, the choice of the proper hose depends on its intended application.

Factor 3: Type of Chemicals

Considering the type of chemicals is another crucial factor when choosing the right chemical hose type. Acids, bases, and solvents may pose many challenges in industrial settings. Well, when dealing with solid acids and bases, it is crucial to choose special chemical hoses. You must ensure that the selected hose can withstand such aggressive chemicals.

UHMWPE, XLPE, or PTFE can be suitable for such projects. These materials offer excellent resistance to chemical corrosion. They also ensure a reliable, durable solution for handling aggressive acids and bases. Proper selection not only safeguards the integrity of the hose but also prevents accidents. Overall, it contributes to a secure and efficient industrial environment.

Factor 4: Standards & Certifications

Chemical hoses may pose threats. Therefore, the safety regulations must be seriously considered. In this case, considering the production standards & certifications is crucial. Chemical hoses must meet all required criteria to withstand the harsh chemical environment. Check for national & international standards followed by the manufacturer. On the other hand, certification validates that the manufacturer follows the required standards.

Following these standards & certifications, you can have confidence in the products. Most importantly, it is necessary to ensure the effectiveness & safety of chemical hoses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What hose is good for chemicals?

Answer: UHMWPE hose is excellent for handling all types of chemicals. They offer exceptional chemical resistance, durability, and flexibility. As a result, they are ideal for a wide range of industrial applications. Most importantly, they are suitable for places where contact with corrosive substances is common.

Q2. Which type of hose is the best?

Answer: The best hose depends on the specific applications. UHMWPE hoses are ideal for chemicals (acids, bases, or solvents). On the other hand, PTFE is suitable for mild chemicals and offers high-temperature resistance. In addition, the choice of the best hose depends on intended use, chemicals involved, and operating environments.

Q3. Is UHMWPE acid resistant?

Answer: Yes, UHMWPE is highly acid-resistant. Its molecular structure resists various acids, bases, and other corrosive chemicals. UHMWPE hoses are prevalent in multiple industrial settings.