Industrial Fluid Systems Blog

Which Kind of Tubing is Right for Your Application?

Swagelok's tube data sheet can tell you which options will work

Review this Tech Tip video to be expertly guided through how to use Swagelok's tube data sheet. This will ensure that you have selected the right tubing for your application.

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Considerations when choosing tubing

Think about the variables you need to consider when selecting a type and size of tubing for a job: 

  • Surface finish
  • Material
  • Hardness
  • Wall thickness

With just those four factors you can come up with thousands of permutations. To help you narrow down your choices, Swagelok has developed tubing data sheets. There are separate sheets for more than a dozen different materials such as carbon steel, copper, aluminum and a variety of alloys.

Each sheet tells you the suggested allowable working pressure at various wall thicknesses and various sizes. The column that runs down the far left side shows the outside dimensions of the tubing. The line across the top lists the wall thicknesses. Download Swagelok Tubing information from our website here! This link includes 13 essential tubing resources in one email.

Columns and lines

So let's say you have half-inch stainless steel tubing. As you follow that line across the chart, you'll see that there are no working pressures listed for several of the wall thicknesses. That's because those wall thicknesses are too thin for half-inch tubing. The very first working pressure you come to is 2600 psi at 0.035-inch wall thickness. But that rating is grayed out, which means it's the allowable working pressure for hydraulic applications. 

If you are working with a gas application, you need to move over to the next wall thickness: 0.049-inch wall thickness at 3700 psi. That's the minimum wall thickness we would suggest for half-inch tubing. If you are working at a higher pressure, say 4000 psi, you'll need to move over to the next higher wall thickness, 0.065-inch.

Watch for bends

When installing fittings near bends in the tubing, you need to make sure that you leave enough straight length in the tubing to properly bottom the tubing out in the fitting. How much is enough? The tubing data sheet provides a handy chart to help you.

So going back to our example of half-inch tubing, the chart shows that you need a straight length of 1 3/16 inches in order to properly bottom out the tubing in the fitting. The tubing data sheet also provides information for service at high temperatures. 

We've prepared a short video that shows you how to read a tubing data sheet. 

We have the variety

At Edmonton Valve & Fitting, we are stocked up with a diversity of materials, OD's, and wall thicknesses to ensure that we can support your needs and requirements, whatever they may be. We are ready to put together your order, so give us a call and we can discuss the wide variety of options available to you.

Our tubing data sheet comes as part of Swagelok's exclusive electronic desktop reference guide, or eDTR. We'll be glad to give you a free copy of the eDTR if you'll call us at 780-437-0640, message us through the link below, or send us a note through our website's contact page.

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