PVC vs Polyurethane (PU), how do we decide whether PVC or PU is more suitable for our application and what are the differences that help us decide?
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Polyurethane (PU), both forms of thermoplastics, are conventional materials used in hoses and ducting. They have many properties in common and some that differentiate them.
PVC has been used in hose construction, for many years, due to its excellent mechanical properties, chemical properties and lower cost; but today polyurethane hoses have become, at most times, as cost-effective for many applications and a better option than PVC hoses for most applications.
Why are Polyurethane hoses better than PVC Hoses?
A. PU hose has the advantage over PVC hose for better abrasion resistance, especially at higher temperatures making them suitable for the transportation of solid media (dust, powders, granules) up to 90 degrees Celsius. Such applications include sawdust extraction and transportation of pellets in the transportation industry. Masterflex polyurethane hoses are available for light, medium and heavy-duty applications.
B. PU hoses, unlike PVC hoses, have excellent resistance to many petroleum-based substances, solvents and non-acidic chemicals. This feature makes polyurethane an ideal choice for use in chemical industries for handling industrial fumes, oils, gasses, vapours and other fluids, including, kerosene and paraffin.
C. PU does not harden over time as it does not require plasticisers to maintain flexibility. PVC requires plasticisers for flexibility, and these can leach out of the PVC over time causing it to harden/stiffen. This hardening often results in splits/cracks resulting in hose failure. Due to this, PU often has a longer service life.
D. PU hoses are resistant to tearing, this means that even damaged hoses are less likely to tear further in comparison to PVC.
E. PU offers better flexibility over PVC especially at lower temperatures; PVC starts to harden and loses flexibility as the temperature approaches 0 degrees Celsius, whereas PU remains highly flexible.
In what ways PVC hoses are better than PU Hoses?
A. Generally, PVC hoses are cheaper to buy than PU hoses.
B. PVC, unlike PU, is resistant to acids; and so PVC hoses/ducts are used to transport acidic media.
Comparison between PVC & PU Hoses / Ductings
|Temperature Resistance||-20 to +70 degrees||-40 to + 90 degrees|
Selecting the Perfect Hose
Both Masterflex Polyurethane and PVC hose / ducting, reinforced with high tensile steel wire helix, are available for light, medium and heavy-duty applications. Selecting the Perfect Hose is not just about the material (PVC vs PU) or quality; there can be many variables involved when selecting hoses, which include:
|– The diameter|
|– The required length|
|– The type of hose (e.g. PVC vs PU)|
|– The type of media that is required to flow, e.g. abrasive or acidic.|
|– The working environment the required hose, i.e. its vacuum, pressure and temperature.|
Masterflex Polyurethane & PVC Hoses
The majority of the Masterflex suction and transport hoses, manufactured, for abrasive solids use high-performance polyurethane.
Should you require further advice with regards to the type of hoses/ducts required for your application, then please feel free to contact one of our Sales Team; we are always happy to help.
For free product advice, please Contact Masterflex UK:
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Masterflex Technical Hoses Limited
Units G – H, Prince of Wales Business Park,
Vulcan Street, Oldham, OL1 4ER
Tel: 0161 626 8066 Fax: 0161 626 9066