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Textile Technologies for Hosing and Tubing

22 Dec 2023  |

The use of textiles in industrial hosing and tubing has revolutionized various industries, offering innovative solutions that combine flexibility, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Textile-based hoses and tubing provide a range of advantages over traditional materials, making them indispensable in numerous applications.

Textiles in hose manufacturing

Textile fabrics are used as reinforcement in many applications. The hose is one such product where the fabric is reinforced in its structure to attain desirable properties. A hose is a flexible link on pipe capable of use with gases, liquids, solids, or admixtures of such under positive or negative pressures. The reinforcement of any hose structure may comprise many materials or combinations of materials, dependent on the end-use of the item. The reinforcement may be braided, woven, or in wound form and it may be in single or multiple plies. The reinforcing members include both natural and man-made textiles. Obviously, the choice of the most advantageous material to be used will be dictated first by the end use of the products and second by economics. 

Types of flexible hoses

Flexible hose

A fabric of flexible hose, usually just called a hose for short, is a type of piping that can transport a variety of liquids and gases through it to other locations. The most common hose used by homeowners is the garden hose, sometimes called a hosepipe. A hose is created from a soft, plastic material. Rubber is one of the most common materials used to make hoses due to its flexible nature.

Industrial hose

The industrial hose is a flexible term, it generally refers to any and every hose. For example, a heavy-duty 4-wire hydraulic hose, a large-bore stainless hose. These can be interpreted as industrial hoses. The type of industrial hose needed highly depends on what field the hose is required in.

Air hose

These types of hoses will typically be seen in environments such as heavy construction sites, mines, quarries, and plants/mills. These hoses have nitrile tubes and covers for good oil resistance, fabric braid reinforcement, and handle pressures between 400 − 600 psi.

Chemical hose

These hoses are intended for liquid chemicals both organic and inorganic, such as acids and bases, salt solutions, paints and varnishes, solvents. They are used for the transfer of chemicals in chemical processing, transfer, and loading/unloading of liquid chemicals.

Tubes for hosing applications

Seamless steel tubing is widely used in hydraulic systems. Apart from the added cost, there are numerous advantages seamless steel tubing possesses over another tubing in multiple applications. Seamless steel tubing is easier to bend than steel pipe, so it does not require a number of fittings and can be reused. The only, or one of the only, areas where tubing has its limits are high-volume applications. Considering the application, internal pressures, weight, environmental conditions, and the usage of flare or flareless rubbing are all considerations that must be considered in material selection. Selecting good quality tubing is a must to ensure a good seal. Tubing comes in a variety of materials, including:

  • Seamless carbon. The most commonly used. Strength of 47, 000 psi
  • Stainless steel. Used when external conditions require non-corrosive materials. Strength of 47, 000 psi
  • Plastic. Used in low-pressure applications

Difference between tubes, pipes, and hoses

Even though the terms are often wrongly used, there are features that set tubes, pipes, and hoses apart. There are three broad differences between hoses, tubes, and pipes:

  • Applications and standards – difference between usage and regulation
  • Sizing terminology – the difference in the sizing terms and the process of measuring
  • Material makeup and manufacturing process

Applications and standards

Tubes are used for structural applications. Meaning they do not have to be cylindrical. They come in squares, rectangles, and even custom shapes. While tubes are used for structural purposes, pipes carry fluids or gases in pipe systems. Hoses can be used in many situations and applications, but they are not particularly effective in a single one. They can be the stopgap in a wide range of situations.

Sizing terminology

A tube’s measurements are determined by three important dimensions. They’re measured by outside diameter, inside diameter, and wall thickness schedule. A pipe’s measurements are more complex than tube sizes. Pipes get measured with wall thickness and nominal pipe diameter. A hose’s measurements are influenced by inside diameter. Hoses also leverage something called a dash system. This is a reference to the diameter of the hose in 1/16 increments.

Material makeup

Tubes and pipes share similar manufacturing processes, and they are usually made up of similar materials. For example, there are stainless steel pipes as well as steel tubes. Hoses are manufactured from a completely different material, rubber or PTFE— than tubes and pipes, carbon steel, stainless steel, alloy steel, etc.

Selecting the right hoses and tubes

Knowing the definitions and differences in characteristics between the tubes, hoses, and pipes is important in order to select the right one for a particular application or situation. A hose, tube, and pipe can almost be used interchangeably, but they do have characteristics that differ.

  • Tube: A hollow cylinder typically made out of plastic or metal that is used to transport liquids or gases
  • Hose: A flexible tube that is typically made out of plastic or metal that is used to transport liquids or However, it can also be rigid
  • Pipe: A rigid tube that is made out of plastic or metal that is used to transport liquids or Pipes are more often than not very flexible

Criteria on selection

When selecting a tube or hose, the three main criteria are length, diameter, and material. Knowing your application criteria and media allows you to properly select these three components of your tube or hose. Incorrectly specifying a hose or tube could lead to a burst or failure causing leakage and system downtime.


In order to avoid unnecessary pressure drops, it is quite important to keep the length of the hose or tube to a minimum, while also exceeding the threshold that is required to avoid tension. The length should be specified at the maximum length of all movements.


When sizing a hose or tube, the inside diameter needs to be specified as this will affect the flow capacity and flow speed. It is often a balance between optimizing the transfer of energy and lowering costs. However, undersized hoses can lead to a large performance loss and an oversized hose can lead to a lack of space.


A hose or tubes material needs to withstand the environment temperature, media temperature, and pressure It also needs to be flexible, or rigid enough, for installation as it may need to bend around obstacles.




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