A Teflon® hose is a hose which integrates poly(tetrafluoroethene) (PTFE), a synthetic polymer which is often known by its brand name of Teflon®, which is registered by the DuPont company. There are a number of applications for PTFE hose, ranging from the brake lines in a car to tubing in a biological research facility. Several companies make Teflon® hose and related PTFE products, and this material is available from some hardware stores and auto suppliers, as well as specialty companies.
Teflon® has several traits which make it ideal as a material for hoses. It is extremely strong, but also very flexible, and it can withstand high pressure, high heat, and many chemicals. Teflon® also resists the formation of biofilms, and it is easy to clean. Wetting resistance is another advantage of PTFE: Teflon® hoses should not leak or become compromised by the liquids they carry. All of these advantages can come with a hefty price tag, but the safety and reliability of PTFE hosing is usually worth the price.
Classically, Teflon® hose is made by braiding strands of PTFE. The hose may be reinforced with various metals for additional strength, especially in environments where the hose is likely to be subjected to serious strain. A braided Teflon® hose is solid and often quite heavy, but it is also very flexible. The hose is finished with fittings which are firmly crimped on. Specialty fittings can be outfitted by request, or people can use converters which can bridge between two different types of fittings.
In cars, Teflon® hoses can be used for things like the brake system, maintaining a high level of pressure and reducing the risk of leaks of brake fluid. High performance cars often include Teflon® components. Laboratories utilize PTFE hosing to transfer chemicals, supplies of gas, and other materials safely and efficiently, and this hosing is also used in some firefighting applications. At home, Teflon® hoses can be used with gas lines to water heaters, stoves, and heaters.
Companies which produce PTFE hose can usually make custom lengths and types for customers by request, including hoses with unique fittings or unusual diameters. The hose can also be coated in various materials for the purpose of color coding or providing additional insulation. It is also possible to obtain pre-cut finished Teflon® hose for many projects. Mass-produced hose tends to be less expensive, because it does not require additional effort on the part of the manufacturer.