Flexible Hose Fluid Lines
Flexible hose is used in aircraft fluid systems to connect moving parts with stationary parts in locations subject to vibration or where a great amount of flexibility is needed. It can also serve as a connector in metal tubing systems.
Hose Materials and Construction
Pure rubber is never used in the construction of flexible fluid lines. To meet the requirements of strength, durability, and workability, among other factors, synthetics are used in place of pure rubber. Synthetic materials most commonly used in the manufacture of flexible hose are Buna-N, neoprene, butyl, ethylene propylene diene rubber (EPDM) and Teflon™. While Teflon™ is in a category of its own, the others are synthetic rubber.
Buna-N is a synthetic rubber compound which has excellent resistance to petroleum products. Do not confuse with Buna-S. Do not use for phosphate ester base hydraulic fluid (Skydrol).
Neoprene is a synthetic rubber compound which has an acetylene base. Its resistance to petroleum products is not as good as Buna-N, but it has better abrasive resistance. Do not use for phosphate ester base hydraulic fluid (Skydrol).
Butyl is a synthetic rubber compound made from petroleum raw materials. It is an excellent material to use with phosphate ester base hydraulic fluid (Skydrol). Do not use with petroleum products.
Flexible rubber hose consists of a seamless synthetic rubber inner tube covered with layers of cotton braid and wire braid and an outer layer of rubber-impregnated cotton braid. This type of hose is suitable for use in fuel, oil, coolant, and hydraulic systems. The types of hose are normally classified by the amount of pressure they are designed to withstand under normal operating conditions.
Low, Medium, and High Pressure Hoses
- Low pressure — below 250 psi. Fabric braid reinforcement.
- Medium pressure — up to 3,000 psi. One wire braid reinforcement. Smaller sizes carry up to 3,000 psi. Larger sizes carry pressure up to 1,500 psi.
- High pressure — all sizes up to 3,000 psi operating pressures.
Lay lines and identification markings consisting of lines, letters, and numbers are printed on the hose. [Figure 7-26]Most hydraulic hose is marked to identify its type, the quarter and year of manufacture, and a 5-digit code identifying the manufacturer. These markings are in contrasting colored letters and numerals which indicate the natural lay (no twist) of the hose and are repeated at intervals of not more than 9 inches along the length of the hose. Code markings assist in replacing a hose with one of the same specifications or a recommended substitute. Hose suitable for use with phosphate ester base hydraulic fluid will be marked Skydrol use. In some instances, several types of hose may be suitable for the same use. Therefore, to make the correct hose selection, always refer to the applicable aircraft maintenance or parts manual.
Teflon™ is the DuPont trade name for tetrafluoroethylene resin. It has a broad operating temperature range (−65 °F to +450 °F). It is compatible with nearly every substance or agent used. It offers little resistance to flow; sticky, viscous materials will not adhere to it. It has less volumetric expansion than rubber, and the shelf and service life is practically limitless. Teflon™ hose is flexible and designed to meet the requirements of higher operating temperatures and pressures in present aircraft systems. Generally, it may be used in the same manner as rubber hose. Teflon™ hose is processed and extruded into tube shape to a desired size. It is covered with stainless steel wire, which is braided over the tube for strength and protection. Teflon™ hose is unaffected by any known fuel, petroleum, or synthetic base oils, alcohol, coolants, or solvents commonly used in aircraft. Teflon™ hose has the distinct advantages of a practically unlimited storage time, greater operating temperature range, and broad usage (hydraulic, fuel, oil, coolant, water, alcohol, and pneumatic systems). Medium-pressure Teflon™ hose assemblies are sometimes preformed to clear obstructions and to make connections using the shortest possible hose length. Since preforming permits tighter bends that eliminate the need for special elbows, preformed hose assemblies save space and weight. Never straighten a preformed hose assembly. Use a support wire if the hose is to be removed for maintenance. [Figure 7-27]