An introduction to silicone hoses, elbows and reducers
Silicone is an elastomer able to endure temperature extremes and resist cracking. It is used to make connectors to join pipes and tubes in equipment and vehicles.
Types of silicone connectors
The name comes from the bend in the connector (usually 45° or 90°), which gives it exceptional flexibility.
Reducers or reducer hoses
One end of a reducer is smaller than the other in order to join different tube or pipe sizes together. Specifications vary, including length, hose outside diameter, and hose inside diameter.
Straight silicone hoses may contain fabric reinforcements and use metal clamps. They are available in various lengths and can be cut to size.
Hump hoses can compensate for small misalignments in pipes as they can flex up to 20° for bends. Applications include throttle body assemblies, air metering, and inlet/outlet.
Wrapped hoses can provide increased pressure resistance. If a high-pressure hose is required, it is essential to note that the burst pressure is a massive four times the working pressure. Instead of a vacuum hose, opt for a reinforced hose.
Varieties of silicone hoses can be obtained from reputable silicone hose manufacturers, such as https://www.goodflexrubber.com/pages/silicone-hose-manufacture.
Silicone hoses, elbows and reducers have applications in mining, aerospace, buses, trucks, generator sets, military vehicles, farm equipment, and construction equipment such as bulldozers and cranes.
It is vital to select the correct hose or connector. Recent years have seen efforts to improve safety in the construction industry, but both major and fatal injuries still remain disproportionately high. To reduce the risk of injury and provide endurance, it is vital to consider aspects such as the temperature range that will be endured, any pressure that must be withstood and any chemical contact.
It is possible for silicone hoses to be reinforced or lined to cope with demanding applications.
Liner materials vary and have different specialised properties. For example, to enhance the resistance of a silicone connector to residues from petrochemicals, a fluorocarbon liner can be used.
Fabric reinforcements are used to add extra strength to silicone hoses and increase resistance to high temperatures.
Metal wire reinforcement
Metal wire reinforcements protect connectors from extreme pressures, such as vacuum pressures.