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Sanitary Hose Assemblies for Bio-Pharm Applications PTFE vs Silicone. 

Most pharmaceutical process applications have sanitary hose assemblies somewhere in their systems, such as load cell isolators, portable tank hook ups, CIP jumpers or any one of a dozen other applications. Some specifications are common to most pharmaceutical sanitary hose assemblies. They need to be steam sterilizable or autoclavable. They need to have product contact materials that have been tested to meet USP Class VI requirements. Most hose materials that we deal in meet FDA guidelines, but there are only two that meet the pharmaceutical requirements: Platinum cured silicone and smooth bore PTFE (Teflon). Which one is better? It really depends on your application and what you are trying to accomplish.

Platinum Cured Silicone Properties

  • Light in weight
  • Very flexible
  • Cannot take what is normally considered high pressure
  • Sizes from ¼” to 4”
  • ¼” -1” is generally extruded material with a braid reinforcement
  • Mandrel wrapped, cloth reinforced 4 ply hose is available from ½”-4”, normally with a wire helix
  • Silicone hoses have very little tensile strength on its own. The braided material can stretch a little.
  • Silicone hoses can be somewhat gas permeable.
  • Good but not great chemical resistance. Silicone does not do well with many solvents

So Which is the Better Hose Choice? Silicone or PTFE?

It is really a function of your application. The cost differential between the two is not particularly significant. If you get into applications above 100 PSI, the PTFE hoses are probably preferred. If you need something light and flexible (short load cell jumpers are a good example) silicone works great. For constant steam applications we normally recommend conductive PTFE hoses. For a hose assembly that it being handled (connected/ disconnected) constantly, PTFE is probable going to hold up better, but will be heavier. For hoses that are in a constant dynamic state (filling machines come to mind), wire reinforced silicone won’t work. The wire work hardens and eventually snaps.   The point of this is that each application is unique. You need to consider several things before specifying the proper hose. Here are the questions we normally ask our clients.  

  • What is the product?
  • What is the process temperature?
  • Give us an overview of the application. Tell us how the hose is going to be used.
  • What is the process pressure?
  • How are you going to clean the hose?
  • What is the cleaning temperature and pressure?
  If you go through all of this, look at hose specifications and still are unsure of what hose to specify, please contact your Sales Representative at Tri-Canada by calling (905) 677-9000 or send an email to sales@tricanada.com.

Rubber Fab RFSB Silicone Hoses Assembled by Tri-Canada:

Smooth-bore Platinum-cured Silicone Hose with braid reinforcement. CRN is available if requested at time of order.