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Plastic Tubing

Plastic tubes are hollow channels of varying lengths, wall thicknesses, diameters and strengths, used for a wide range of tubing and piping applications. The uses of plastic tubing are just as wide as the number of different fabrication materials. These materials include polyurethane, flexible vinyl, low and high-density polyethylene, many varieties of nylon, polycarbonate, rigid vinyl, high impact polystyrene and PETG.

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We offer unsurpassed quality plastic tubing solutions. Our custom extrusions and hose assemblies make us an industry leader. We have nearly 60 years of experience that we want to share with our customers. Our products meet all 3A, NSF, USP Class VI requirements and these products are made from latex, nylon, silicone and more. We offer a 99.8% overall product quality rating and these products will last for years. Contact us to learn more!
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Genplex is a leading supplier of high quality plastic tubing, extruded tubing, nylon tubing, polyethylene tubing, polyurethane tubing and PVC tubing. We provide technical expertise in order to meet your exact requirements. Call or visit our website today for more information! We have many secondary capabilities to accompany our plastic tubing including complex & unique shapes & tight tolerances.
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Since 1973, Polytec Plastics has manufactured high-quality Tubing, Rods & Pipe at competitive prices. Sizes range from 1/32" diameter to 4-1/2" diameter, in all types of Thermoplastic materials. Small quantities, blanket orders & ship from stock: we are ready to quote your needs. Along with our plastic tubing, we process all types of thermoplastics & will assist you in selecting the right product.
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GSH is a manufacturer of plastic, extruded, nylon, polycarbonate and polyethylene tubing. We serve a variety of industries with our products, including automotive, consumer, electrical and marine. Superior customer service, product knowledge, on-time delivery and competitive pricing since 1986! With over 40,000 square feet of manufacturing, we offer extruded plastic tubing, in house tooling, etc.
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At Absolute Custom Extrusions, we specialize in plastic tubing, while providing custom plastic extrusions and profiles. Products include distributor tubes, hot or cold water tubes, automotive tubing, medical tubing, shipping tubes and golf club tubes. Experienced since 1986, ISO 9001:2008 certified. Other capabilities along with our plastic tubing include labeling, printing, custom cutting, etc.
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We can supply your company with the highest quality plastic tubing. Our engineers develop our products carefully and strategically to ensure your satisfaction. We are one of the biggest suppliers of plastic tubing materials. Our team utilizes the best CAD program to generate production-ready drawings. We also maintain the highest ethical standards and promise that our products will achieve customer satisfaction. Contact us today or visit our website to learn more!
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Armbrust Paper Tubes is your source for plastic tubes and shipping containers. Our custom solutions can help with your storage, shipping or packaging needs. We specialize in custom/stock tubes and also stock a large line of mailers, envelopes, protective packaging, coin banks and most shipping products. We offer custom printing, cutting, coating and special services.
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When it comes to plastic tubing ours is the best in the industry! With over twenty years of field industry experience we are dedicated to providing our customers with products that stand above the rest. Our skilled technicians will work closely with you to come up with the perfect product to fit your exact specifications. To learn more about what we may be able to do for you; visit our website today!
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Industry Information

Plastic Tubing: Raising the Standard

Plastic manufacturers are striving to make other industries aware of the benefits associated with plastic products. Plastic has a growing number of advantages that can be utilized in nearly every single sector of the market. Many companies that develop plastic products are trying to catch the eye of architects for construction purposes. There is a growing trend to create buildings with more sustainability. Plastic solutions are a catalyst for improving the energy efficiency of a building. New and innovated houses are now energy efficient options for people who wish to create less of a carbon footprint. Unique products such as closed-cell spray polyurethane foam and cross-linked polyethylene tubing are beneficial heating solutions. These newer design are also frontrunner the diverse possibilities that manufacturers will create which will be paramount for creating a more environmentally friendly planet.

With all of these new innovations there is an exploding growth in demand for plastic solutions. Not only are plastic items relatively easy to manufacture but they are also simple to install. This simplicity is a major factor regarding to the success in the plastic industry. The easy installation and low maintenance make plastic an ideal choice over steel, copper, concrete or wood for many applications. There are many tasks that may require the strength of stainless steel however plastic tubing products come at a fraction of the cost. Through increased demands for plastic and constantly improving innovations we are guaranteed to see more uses for plastic products in the future.

Plastic Tubing

Every different variety of plastic tubing features its own set of special qualities. Vinyl tubing and acrylic tubes can be engineered to be near-transparent or opaque; clear plastic tubing products are some of the most important kinds of medical tubing. Polyethylene tubing, or poly tubing, can be made of any one of the many varieties of raw polyethylene materials available; high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tubes are rigid, strong, durable and used in applications where impact-resistant, sturdy tubing is necessary, while low-density polyethylene (LDPE) can be used to make flexible tubing. Nylon tubing is used in pneumatic equipment applications; certain varieties of nylon tubing can be derived from non-petroleum-based raw nylon. PVC tubing is one of the most widely used varieties of plastic tubing and piping. It can be engineered to be thick and durable, and, because it is a vinyl-based product, it can be engineered to be near-transparent. The many PVC varieties available are used in industrial, commercial and consumer construction, heating and cooling, plumbing and in many other applications. For applications that require tubing with exceptional qualities of strength and durability, pultrusions feature integrated fibers to make plastic tubing stronger. For situations in which cylindrical tubing is not appropriate, some tubing fabricators make square plastic tubing available for their customers.
The range of plastic tubing and piping applications is just as wide as the number of different plastic tubing fabrication materials. These materials include polyurethane, flexible vinyl, low and high-density polyethylene, many varieties of nylon, polycarbonate, rigid vinyl, ABS, high impact polystyrene and PETG. Each of these plastic materials lends different qualities to finished plastic tubing products. Acrylic tubes, which are naturally clear and flexible, are excellent for uses in which the flow and volume of materials moving through tubing must be observed easily. Acrylic tubes can also be colored, which makes easier the organization of many different tubes in close proximity to each other. Low density polyethylene can be processed to create flexible tubing, while high-density polyethylene is used to create rigid, strong, impact resistant tubing. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is among the most versatile plastic materials and can be used to make thick plumbing pipes and clear tubes for healthcare applications. PVC's tolerance for a range of extreme temperatures, resistance to changing pressures and its capacity for accommodating high flow volumes make it a good choice for use in industrial applications and in wastewater management contexts.

Raw plastic materials come from a few places. Most of them are hydrocarbon-based, which means that most plastics are derived from refined petroleum products. Some raw plastic varieties, like nylon 11, can be derived from castor oil, a renewable resource, and a limited number of other raw plastics are derivatives of non-hydrocarbon sources. Once a stock of raw plastic has been refined for use as plastic tubing, it can be shaped into tubing by one of several methods. Cell casting, a method in which molten plastic is poured into a tube-shaped recess, is one of the older methods of plastic tube fabrication. Compared to other methods, though, it is inefficient, time consuming, costly, labor intensive and produces variable products. Another method developed in the middle of the 20th century is pultrusion, which is the process of combining fibers with plastic resins in order to produce a stronger product. Pultrusion is used in the creation of plastic grates, stair treads and some plastic tubing, usually for use in applications where frequent or heavy impact between tubing and equipment or other moving objects is expected. Pultrusion is still a widely used method, but it is not used to the extent that plastic extrusion is.
Plastic extrusion is the most efficient, effective, and widely used method of plastic tube fabrication. It can produce tubes of any plastic material, width and thickness. The plastic tubing extrusion process begins with a collection of raw plastic material, which is called stock. The stock is loaded into a hopper suspended above a conveyance channel. A long screw in the conveyance channel pushes the stock toward a die at the end of the channel. A die is any tool used to shape raw material into a usable product. In the case of plastic tubing extrusion, the die is a metal plate with a specially designed hole through which the stock passes. Before it reaches the die, the stock is heated to a liquid state by heating elements along the conveyance channel and because of the friction caused by the turning screw. Once molten, the stock is forced through the die, and when it emerges from the die it has become a newly extruded plastic tube. The new product can then be cut to length and prepared for shipping or sent for additional processing.


plastic tubing
acrylic tubing
Image Provided by NewAge Industries Inc.

plastic piping
Acrylic Piping
 Image Provided by Genplex, Inc.
 Image Provided by Polytec Plastics Inc.



Plastic Tubing Types

  • Acrylic Tube products are plastic tubes designed with acrylic materials. They are often characterized by their optical clarity.
  • Cast acrylic tubing is a glassy thermoplastic that will not age, is not affected by sunlight, stays stable under the variable conditions of heat, cold, moisture, etc., will not warp, crack, craze or corrode, is half the weight of comparable glass and has good shatter resistance and durability.
  • Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) tubing is similar to PVC tubing but handles corrosive water at temperatures above the limits of other vinyl plastics, has excellent chemical and fire resistance characteristics and high impact and tensile strength and is crush resistant and nontoxic.
  • Clear plastic tubing is a hollow, usually cylindrical body of clear thermoplastic material, used either for conveying or containing liquids or gases or as structural components.
  • Fiberglass tubing has good abrasion resistance, exceptional cut-through characteristics and will not fray at the ends. It is widely utilized in applications where temperatures reach up to 265˜F/130˜C at which other kinds of tubing would knot, end or torque.
  • Heat shrinkable tubing fits around an object and provides it with insulation and protection. Once heated the tubing shrinks and conforms to the object.
  • Latex tubing returns to its original shape after stretching, remains flexible in sub-zero temperatures and has immense holding strength.
  • Medical tubing is tubing used for medical purposes such as IV's, catheters, coating on some surgical tools and more.
  • Nylon tubing is strong and resists abrasion. This tubing is typically used for high temperature or high pressure needs.
  • Plastic pipe are hollow cylinders that are used to convey fluids or gases or as structural component and  is typically measured by the internal diameter (ID).
  • Plastic tubes are hollow cylinders used to transport fluids or gases and is typically measured by the outer diameter (OD).
  • Polycarbonate tubing is excellent for harsh environmental applications, because it has high tensile strength, good chemical resistance, good optical clarity, high impact strength, good dimensional stability and rigidity and is self-extinguishing.
  • Poly tubing, short for polyethylene tubing, is a very widely used variety of plastic tubing.
  • Polyethylene (PE) tubing is unaffected by water and many chemicals because of its tough and waxy texture.
  • Polycarbonate tubing is clear plastic tubing that has good optical clarity and strength. This tubing is sensitive to some chemicals and should not be used in high temperatures or humidity.
  • Pultrusions are plastic tubing products that have been integrated with fibers to enhance their strength.
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubing is corrosion resistant, flexible and flame retardant, does not shrink in heat and has excellent electrical and physical performance.
  • Silicone tubing is a rubber-like thermoset material that is used in the medical field for applications such as medical devices, pharmaceutical processing, laboratory, veterinary, pharmaceutical drug delivery systems and cardio pacemaking leads, because it meets the industry's requirements of cleanliness and non-toxicity. It is also resistant to extreme temperatures, generally exhibits inertness toward U.V. radiation and ozone and is not altered by effects of weather.
  • Square plastic tubing is a square hollow device that is used to convey fluids or gases or as structural components
  • Surgical tubing is plastic tubing that is used for IVs, catheters, and other medical purposes.
  • Vinyl tubing is a clear, strong, lightweight and flexible tubing that has thousands of applications in the home, office, factory and classrooms, because it is chemically resistant to alkalis, alcohol, aliphate, hydrocarbons, oils and some acids, retains transparency, stands up to rough handling and is odorless, tasteless and nontoxic. It is used to transport liquids, gases and some solids.



Plastic Tubing Terms

Crazing - Small cracks close to the surface of the plastic tubing.
 
Ductility - The amount of strain that plastic tubing can handle before breaking.
 
Expansion - The process in which the diameter of a plastic tubes is enlarged while its wall thickness is reduced. This process is often used to create heat shrinkable tubing.
 
Extrusion - A process in which a solid plastic resin is melted and pushed by a screw through a heating chamber.
 
Fish Eyes - A small mass in a transparent material, such as plastic used in plastic tubing, created by incomplete blending.
 
Flaring - A process in which mechanical pressure works to increase the diameter of plastic tubes from the inside.
 
Jacket - The outer part of a heat shrinkable tube's dual wall.
 
Latex - A solution also referred to as rubber that usually consists of water and polymer.
 
Liner - The inner part of a heat shrinkable tube's dual wall.
 
Polymerization - A process typically carried out by a catalyst in which a large number of simple molecules combine to form a more complex, chain-like compound (polymer).
 
Polystyrene - A flammable, transparent plastic that is an excellent electrical and thermal insulator because of its high strength and impact resistance.
 
Polyurethane - A general term for a broad class of thermoplastic polymers that have good resistance to solvents and abrasion and can be either solid or foam (cellular).
 
Pultrusion - A process that produces reinforced plastic shapes with constant cross sections by pulling the reinforcing fibers, wetted by a thermoset resin mix, through a heated steel die.
 
Shore Hardness - Scale used to measure the hardness of an object. Although there are different scales (plastic tubing uses the "A" scale), they are consistent in that the larger the number, the harder the object.
 
Strain Relief - A process in which plastic tubing is used as an outer cover for an object in order to reduce the stress that is being placed on the object by providing additional support and stiffness.
 
Stress Cracks - Small cracks, typically found in clusters, which occur in plastic tubing due to mechanical stress.
 
Thermoset - A material that remains hardened, even when reheated, due to its having undergone a chemical reaction.
 
VW 1 - A rating given to highly-flame retardant plastic tubing by the Underwriter's Laboratories (UL).




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