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Tubing miniguide: FEP, PTFE, or silicone?

18 January 2024

The choice of tubing can make or break your manufacturing business. Whether you are considering FEP, PTFE, or silicone as a material, there are several factors to consider when making your choice based on your needs.

But what do the material types FEP and PTFE stand for? And how do they differ from each other and silicone?

In this newsletter, we'll break it all down for you and help you find the right tubing for your production needs and optimize your operations.

Grab your coffee and read on!

Tubing 101: FEP vs. PTFE vs. silicone

Infographic on material differences - FEP, PTFE and silicone

  • FEP (fluorinated ethylene propylene) is a high-performance fluoroplastic material that combines high chemical resistance with moderate flexibility and a focus on durability. It’s transparent and has a smooth surface that contributes to low friction and is known for its ability to withstand high temperatures and excellent insulation properties, especially against electricity.

  • PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), also known as Teflon, is another type of fluoroplastic that is extremely resistant to both heat and chemicals. It’s distinguished by its suppleness and flexibility and is available in several different colors, including translucent natural (white) color. Teflon is notable for its outstanding non-stick properties and very low friction.

  • Silicone, a versatile polymer based on silicon, oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen, offers great flexibility and moldability, varying transparency, and is highly resistant to a variety of chemicals. This material is known for its heat resistance and exceptional tolerance to both high and low temperatures, making it highly suitable for a wide range of applications.

When it comes to use in the process industry, all three materials are excellent choices for different applications. But how do you ensure you're using the right tubing for your production?

How to make the right choice

Collage of different hoses

Choosing the right tubing can be difficult. But if you consider certain factors before purchasing for your production, you'll be well on your way:

  • Understand your needs: First and foremost, you need to understand your specific application requirements. What chemicals will the hose be exposed to? What temperatures does it need to withstand? Do you need a transparent hose to be able to inspect its contents? The answers will help you narrow down your options.

  • Assess the properties of the material: As we've seen, FEP, PTFE, and silicone each have their unique properties. For example, if you need a high degree of chemical resistance and produce oily or fatty products, then PTFE tubing may be the best choice. If, on the other hand, you need exceptional flexibility, transparency, and good temperature tolerance, then the silicone hose would be the obvious choice.

  • Consider cost: Price can also be a deciding factor. While FEP and PTFE are more expensive than silicone, their durability and performance in demanding environments can make them a good long-term investment.

See our selection of FEP- and Teflon tubing

See our selection of silicone hoses

We can guide you further

Customer service representative

Still not sure which tubing is best suited for your production?

At Alfotech, we are very familiar with the decision-making process, as we regularly experience it through our customer visits and other manufacturing companies who contact us by email or phone. Of course, our competent sales team is always ready to help you, and as a stock-holding hose supplier in Northern Europe, we have various types of tubing in stock. Contact us now by phone +45 7020 0422 or via inquiry@alfotech.eu.

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