Silicone v rubber: which type of hose should you use?

When deciding on the most suitable type of hose to use, there are certain questions you need to ask to get the best quality of hose for your specific application, either in the domestic or industrial environment. Which hose material would be better, silicone or rubber?

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History

Both rubber and silicone are very durable and flexible, which makes them perfect for producing hoses. Of the two materials, rubber has been in use for the longest. Rubber has been manufactured in myriad products for centuries, whilst silicone is a much more modern substance and is used mainly for a limited or specialist purpose.

Is silicone the way forward, or is rubber the traditional and therefore more reliable option?

Silicone v rubber

Each material has its own particular benefits. Silicone Hose Manufacturers have been producing the product for less time; however, it is becoming an invaluable and popular substance. While rubber may be an older substance, this does not necessarily make it less relevant to modern-day manufacturing.

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Rubber can be a more economical material for hoses, particularly where large quantities are involved. Rubber compositions, such as Viton, are tenacious against corrosive fluids at high temperatures; in addition, rubber can be effective for water coolant purposes. Rubber is especially suited to transferring car and aeroplane fuels. It has a high yield strength, allowing stretching and flexibility.

Silicone is non-toxic. This makes it perfect for the food and drink industry, as it cannot contaminate produce. Silicone hose manufacturers advise that this material has fantastic resistance to the elements, such as UV and moisture. Being non-toxic, it is also suitable for medical and sterile situations where hygiene is extremely important. Silicone is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, from incredible heat (approximately 200°C) to below freezing.

The winner?

When choosing between silicone and rubber, you must keep in mind the specific requirements of the application. Where is the hose going to be used? What are the environmental factors, and what will the hose be coming into contact with? If you want a hose that can be flexible, strong, useful around the house and available at a lower price, choose rubber. If you have a more specialist or demanding use for the hose, you may want to go with silicone instead.

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