Can you pass fuel or oil through a silicone hose?

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Mention silicone to the vast majority of people and they’ll immediately think of a versatile man-made substance which can be used in a whole array of different industries and applications. From providing adhesives and seals in aviation and aerospace assembly to providing the substance for rubber cake moulds, silicone can be found in industries including construction, electronics, healthcare and transportation, to name just a few.

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Transporting oil and fuel through a silicone hose

Some of the many benefits of silicone include its resistance to moisture, cold, heat, chemicals and UV radiation, which is why you’ll find it used in so many different industries and applications. You would, therefore, assume that you would be able to transport both fuel and oil through a silicone hose without any problems. However, you’d be wrong to think this.

Problems combining silicone with fuel and oil

While the structure of silicone is stable at an array of different pressures and temperatures, oil and fuel are two of the few substances that can destroy its molecular structure. This is because both oil and fuel work as a type of solvent when combined with silicone, which can result in the silicone dissolving over time. They literally eat away at the silicone in the same way as water would if a tube was made of something perishable like paper or cardboard.

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What to use instead of silicone?

While silicone might not be a good fit for the transportation of fuel or oil, thankfully there are similar materials available which are. Both fluorocarbon, in addition to fluorosilicone liners, provided by silicone hose manufacturers such as https://www.goodflexrubber.com/pages/silicone-hose-manufacture can combine the advantages of silicone with a chemical stability that makes them resistant to fuel and oil.

Fluorosilicone is a version of silicone rubber that has been modified to improve its chemical resistance. It has great flexibility at low temperatures and is resistant to extreme weather, ozone and UV rays. It differs from regular silicone in that its temperature range is reduced somewhat from -50 degrees to 180 degrees, meaning it isn’t as heat resistant. However, according to Autonews, recent advancements in technology have extended the upper limit to 240 degrees.

Fluorosilicone is commonly utilised in the aerospace industry where coolants, oils and fluids are present.

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