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What is a Rubber Tubing and Rubber Hose?

Rubber tubing (or sometimes referred to as rubber hose) is a highly versatile and often necessary material for certain industries and applications. It can be made from natural rubber or synthetic rubber and materials, both of which can come in a variety of lengths, diameters, and wall thickness.

If you work in an industrial setting, on a farm, in a chemistry lab, or in manufacturing, chances are rubber tubing is part of your daily job. By definition, rubber tubing refers to any hollow tubing that is made from natural or synthetic rubber. It usually comes in long coils that can be custom cut to fit your application and it is highly durable and flexible.

The hard rubber tubes like channel is ideal for using as a flow line for fluids or gases, which is why it’s a common material for industrial, chemical, agriculture, or oil and gas operations.

Material Classification

What makes rubber tubing or rubber hoses different from other types of tubing is its rubber material. Rubber is classified as an elastomer, which is a material that can be stretched beyond the capacity of other materials without causing any severe change to its original size, shape, and elasticity.

Rubber is a highly durable material, which is why it’s used in a variety of high yield, robust applications. It’s very flexible, difficult to tear, resilient when placed under pressure, and remains stable when subjected to extreme temperatures.

To further classify soft rubber tubing, it’s important to distinguish the differences between natural rubber and synthetic rubber.


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What is Natural Rubber Tubing?

Natural rubber comes from latex, which is a milky white liquid that’s found and extracted from rubber-producing trees or plants. It can also come from naturally occurring polyisoprene, which is also known as gum rubber. For the most part, natural rubber is preferable to synthetic rubber when elasticity is a concern. They’re also better at resisting physical structural changes like sagging or stretching. You’ll often find natural rubber to be the rubber tubing of choice in vacuum applications.

What is Synthetic Rubber Tubing?

Synthetic rubbers follow a similar structure, look, and feel of natural rubber. The biggest difference is that they’re made from petrochemicals, not found naturally. Some of the types of synthetic rubber include but are not limited to:

  • Isoprene
  • Ethylene Propylene
  • Nitrile Rubber
  • Poly chloroprene
  • Silicone Rubber
  • Polyurethane
  • Styrene butadiene

Among the advantages of synthetic rubber includes its resistance to abrasion and its chemical resistance. Compared to natural rubber, synthetic rubber is also more adept at resisting the damaging effects of ozone and oil. It’s also cheaper to produce synthetic rubber, which makes it an excellent cost-effective choice.

Rubber Hose Construction

Most types of flexible rubber hoses are composed of three layers: an innermost tube, a reinforcement layer, and an outer layer.

The inner layer is designed to accomplish two goals: to stand up to whatever is flowing through the tube and to contain the fluid or gas so that it’s routed to its destination.

The second layer adds reinforcement to the inner layer. For example, if the hose were to experience a sudden change in temperature or pressure, the reinforcement layer helps to protect the inner layer from cracking, breaking, or sustaining other damage. The reinforcement layer is usually constructed of wire and is braided or wrapped around the inner tube and may or may not be composed of rubber.

The outer layer is the layer we see and is designed to protect the inner and reinforcement layers from external forces. This layer can come in a variety of colors to fit your application and make it easily identifiable. The common type is black rubber hose.

Some small rubber tubing does not have a reinforcement or outer layer. These hoses are referred to as homogenous and consist of one single, thicker layer of rubber.

Manufacturing Process

Rubber hose manufacturing can take different forms, depending on who you’ve hired to create your rubber hoses and the applications in which you’ll be using them.

One of the most popular processes is the extrusion method. Similarly to plastic tubing extrusion, rubber tubing compound is fed into an extrusion machine. The material is then fed through a feed hopper, and then moved through a die of a cross section while increasing the pressure and temperature.

Larger diameters rubber tube is usually created through a process called spiral wrapping. These large rubber hoses usually have the reinforcement and outer layers since the diameter is larger and the hose has a larger capacity.

Shape Type

Rubber hoses typically come in a long coil, much like your standard garden hose that you’d buy in a store. However, one of the benefits of rubber tubing is that you can shape it to meet your needs and it will hold its shape on its own.

To cure your rubber hose to a desired shape, you’ll need to bend the hose to a desired shape and heat it over a flame. Once the inside and the outside of the hose has been heated, dunk the hose immediately into cold water. The hose will retain its shape on its own.

Alternatively, you can have rubber hoses manufactured in custom shapes. The shape usually depends on your unique application and the geometry associated with the fittings and accessories you’re using. A rubber hose manufacturer can customize your hose to fit your needs.

Benefit of Using Rubber Tubing

Companies and industries choose rubber tubing over plastic tubing or silicone tubing for a variety of reasons. Certain features associated with rubber tubing make them ideal for use in specific applications (more on application uses in the next section).

Here’s a look at some of the benefits you can expect:


One of stretch rubber tubing’s most apparent advantages is its flexibility. Users can bend the tubing in tight angles or around corners to keep their products flowing. Because of its durability and tensile strength, rubber can be stretched farther than other types of tubing without compromising its integrity.

Explosion Proof

Rubber tubing can be made to be explosion proof, which is an important factor for chemical and gas applications. Rubber tubing can be specially made to avoid dust, vapor, or gas that could ignite.

High Tensile Strength

Tensile strength refers to the maximum amount of stress a rubber hose can withstand without breaking, cracking, ripping, or otherwise having its integrity compromised. When it comes to tensile strength, rubber hoses perform noticeably better.

Ability to Withstand Electrical Charges

Some types of soft rubber hose are designed to maintain its integrity in the event of electrical activity. This makes it a common choice for electrical applications.

Lower Purchase Cost

As a general rule, rubber tubing cost significantly less than other types of tubing or pipes. For example, metal pipes are often sold by weight, not by length, so the more pipe you need, the more you can expect to pay. However, you can easily get the same length of rubber tubing as metal pipe for a fraction of the cost. And if you need custom molded rubber tubing in a specific shape, you’re still likely to pay less than you would with silicone tubing, plastic tubing, or metal pipes.

This is partly because rubber tubing costs very little to manufacture. And if you’re looking to save even more money, you could select synthetic rubber tubing instead of natural rubber if your application calls for it.


There’s no doubt that rubber tubing can be used in a variety of applications and use cases. But that’s not all the versatility it offers.

For starters, you can customize the shape and color of any rubber tubing to fit your project goals. Many people choose to order rubber tubing in different colors to make it easier to trace supply lines for specific contents. Doing so can also increase the efficiency when performing service work or making repairs or replacements.

Also, manufacturers can produce rubber tubing in a variety of thicknesses, diameters, lengths, and types depending on your application. All you need to do is share your project goals and needs with the manufacturer and they can recommend the most viable solution and remove much of the guesswork.

Portable and Easy to Store

Rubber tubing and hoses usually come in large coils. This convenient packaging makes it easy to transport the tubing for installation and store any extra tubing in your warehouse. Coils can be stacked and organized with ease, plus you can roll the coils instead of having to lift and carry them to your application site.

Easy to Maintain

Like other types of tubing, rubber hoses need to be taken care of if you want them to last for the long haul. The good news is that they’re relatively easy to maintain and don’t require much care.

For starters, you’ll want to avoid allowing the tubing to drag or freely hang, as well as not allow it to be handled roughly. Though the tubing usually has a tough outer protective layer, it’s still fairly soft and could tear or break.

Also, you’ll want to use your tubing only for the applications for which it’s designed. Using rubber tubing to handle chores it’s not guaranteed for could compromise its integrity.

Last but not least, you’ll need to ask your rubber hose manufacturer for the proper care and cleaning instructions. Find out how often you need to clean the tubing, what to use for cleaning, and what to avoid when cleaning. During each cleaning, you should also inspect the tube for any signs of damage. Tears, cracks, leaks, or spots could indicate your tubing is in need of a repair or replacement.

Applications & Usage Methods

Many industries and companies use rubber tubing for specific applications because of its cost-saving benefits, easy maintenance, and other advantages. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the most common application and usage methods for rubber tubing:

  • Food and beverage (PVC rubber)
  • Wastewater management (PVC rubber)
  • Pool systems (PVC rubber)
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing (Sterilized rubber tubing)
  • Chemical engineering (Metal rubber; PVC rubber)
  • Automotive applications (EPDM tubing)
  • Aerospace (Viton tubing)
  • Medical facilities (Medical rubber tubing)

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea as to the breadth and scope that rubber tubing provides.

Rubber Tubing Selection Tips

There is no one rubber tubing size fits all selection. Rubber tubing can be used for a wide variety of applications and needs, and what works for one might not be suitable for another.

When exploring your options, make sure to take the following aspects into account:

Why Choose Us

Plentiful Experience

With over 20 years’ experience on rubber and silicone industrial, we manufacturing products for over 5000+ customers in 60+ countries. ETOL aims to solve any difficult and special problems according to your requirements.

High Quality Products

Certificated by ISO9001, FDA, RoHS etc. All the products are compliance with RoSH standard. Over 5,000 customers from 60+ countries have a long-term cooperation with us.

Fast Delivery

Once you place an order, we will send it out as soon as possible. 3 Days fastest you will receive the products.

Great Variety of Products

Over 18,000+ kinds of products available, No need any mold cost, you can found the one you need directly!

Free Samples

Worry about the size and quality? Contact us to get free samples! You only need to pay the shipment, and we will send it to you for testing.

Custom service

From design, prototyping, mold making, mass production and delivery, we offer the one-stop complete process for you.


Need any quotation?
Cannot found your size?
Customized service needed?

ETOL can recommend the most suitable products for you according to your requirements. We ensure the consistent quality, best price, and on-time delivery. Contact us for more information!