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Why Silicone is Not Ideal for Fuel Lines


Explore the best practices when using fuel lines.

Silicone hoses have a myriad of applications from home brewing to large equipment manufacturing, so where do they fit in their application to fuel lines?

At Flex Tech, we manufacture a variety of silicone hoses that span numerous industries. If you’re looking for a silicone flex hose that performs in temperature extremes, high-vibration systems, in high pressure, and beyond, we have the parts you need. Learn more about why silicone is not always ideal for fuel lines.

Can silicone hoses be used as fuel hoses?

Silicone is not recommended for fuel lines because of how they’re constructed — they’re somewhat permeable and not the best option for oil or fuel. There are better options when it comes to choosing a hose for fuel lines, including those with a special fluorosilicone or fluorocarbon liners that are built specifically to handle chemical resistance.

Fluorocarbon has been designed to resist numerous alcohol compounds and fuel additives, providing an excellent barrier to hydrocarbons with an operating temperature of 455° F with a low brittleness point of -45° F.

Fluorosilicone differs from traditional silicone because it’s a specific grade that is formulated to prevent oil from degrading the hose wall, thus slowly breaking down the material and rendering it useless.

These types of liners are ideal for occasional fueling, but they’re not recommended for heavy use fueling.

The engineers at Flex Tech can help guide you towards the perfect hose for your fuel line needs.

Fuel and Silicone

The beauty of silicone and why it’s applicable in a variety of industries is because, molecularly, it’s stable in a wide range of pressures and temperatures. It can be used in food manufacturing to aquariums. Yet fuel and oil are one of the only substances that break down and cause immense wear and tear on the structure of silicone, making it unreliable for its use in fuel lines.

Better Options For Your Fuel Line

While silicone hoses may be out when it comes to fuel lines, there are hoses that are a better fit.

PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene)

PTFE-lined hoses are an excellent alternative to silicone and can withstand the corrosiveness of fuel, namely in its premier resistance to diffusion of automotive fuels. PTFE-lined hoses are available in stainless steel braided varieties that are not only applicable to fuel lines but clutch lines and brake lines as well.

NBR (Nitrile Rubber)

NBR has a specific application for fuel hoses because of its oil-resistant synthetic rubber. These hoses are optimal for heavy-use fuel lines.

When Standard Silicone Hoses Aren’t An Option

When you’re unable to use silicone in your fuel line endeavors, there are a variety of alternatives that Flex Tech offers. We have a broad range of hoses that can be used with fuel lines that provide superior chemical resistance and durability, keeping up with the demands of light to heavy fueling frequencies.

Our line of fluorocarbon- and fluorosilicone-lined hoses are the preferred choice when it comes to creating a fuel line that performs. We’re here to work with you every step of the way to meet your fuel line specifications.

At Flex Tech, our commitment to quality silicone hoses goes unrivaled, and we’re here to help you find an option that is compatible with your fuel line.

Connect with us today for more information on our fluorocarbon and fluorosilicone-lined hoses.