Custom Extruded Plastic Tubing and Profiles for a Variety of Industries
Inplex provides tubing and profiles for a variety of industries
From consumer housewares and point-of-purchase displays to highway safety industries and lighting, energy, and power, the number of industries that depend on plastic tubing is almost too great to count. Whether it’s a semi-rigid Kynar fluoropolymer for high chemical resistance or a rigid PETG for food-grade and water applications, plastic tubing empowers the success of many industrial operations — they couldn’t survive without them.
At Inplex, our engineering experts have extensive experience in shaping the plastics that fit each industry’s needs. Here are a few of the most common industries we service, along with some of the prospects that make their success possible. Just as we are surrounded by plastics in our everyday lives with the products we use, the number of industrial processes that rely on plastic tubing are too many to count. Some of these have highly specialized needs and are worth especially noting.
Oil and Gas
The rigorous operating conditions of the oil and gas industry forces engineers to have very specific requirements for many of its components. For example, the highly corrosive nature of many oil and natural gas byproducts required that stainless steel tubing be used for injection — until now.
Our Injectorplex tubing was designed with the extreme conditions of the oil and gas industry in mind. It possesses material properties that are superior to stainless steel in nearly every way, including:
- Easy convertibility
- Longer life cycle
- Lower cost
- Greater potential for profit
We’ll discuss the specifics below, but the Injectorplex tubing provides an economical alternative to cumbersome stainless steel — without compromising on toughness and durability.
Although typically thought of in terms of its metal components, there are few industries as dependent on plastic tubing as the electricity and power industries. Because of the high voltage, current, and temperature that is commonplace in conductive electrical wires, safe handling would be impossible without the use of plastic tubing as an insulator. This is why electrical wires are often coated with a plastic layer and cables consisting of multiple wires are jacketed with plastic tubing.
Such cables must meet stringent material requirements, such as:
- High electrical insulation
- High-temperature tolerance
- UV radiation tolerance
- Moisture resistance
Electric wires and cables must also be custom colored according to industry code, as different color schemes may denote certain electrical properties. Our plastic extrusion coating technique not only applies an even, tight-fitting plastic layer across continuous rolls of electrical cable that meets industry requirements but also allows for a customizable color scheme to accommodate any design.
From landscape equipment and plumbing to kitchenware and cleaning supplies, plastic tubing can be found all around your home.
Just a few examples include:
- Plumbing pipes
- Lawn sprinkler equipment
- Garden hoses
- Automotive tubing
- Shaped profiles
- Spray and aerosol dip tubing
- Many more common household items
The number of consumer houseware applications for plastic tubing and profiles makes for a wide number of material specifications. Extruded plastic tubing and profiles are common in many of these items — although the kind of plastic varies from item to item, as it does from industry to industry specification.
Some products (like plumbing piping) must be rigid enough to withstand flow and pressure conditions, while others (like irrigation tubing) must be flexible and lightweight for movement. Opacity, corrosion and UV resistance, and food-grade safety must also be considered — and Inplex can account for them all.
Point of Purchase Displays (POP Displays)
Although it often goes overlooked, the role that plastic tubing and profiles plays in everyday purchases is prevalent. Rail strips, price tag holders, and display channels are all used by stores and markets to convey pricing information and house valuable goods while making them accessible to consumers.
- Other examples are:
- Display legs
- Sign poles
- Shelf strips
- Banner holders
- Shelf edging
With so many different uses, it may truly be said that plastic tubing and profiles keep the point of purchase display industry intact.
Without proper covers, much of the lighting industry would be left in the dark. Whether it’s compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or high-efficiency LEDs, most indoor lighting is too abrasive to be left exposed, so it is often filtered through lens covers to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Inplex is an expert at manufacturing indoor lighting products, such as:
- Lens covers
- Channel strip covers
- Rope lighting tubing
These indoor lighting covers are commonplace in both residential and industrial environments and can brighten any setting.
Custom Extruded Plastic Products
Although these are some of the most prominent industries that rely on plastic tubing and profiles for their successful operation, many others exist outside of them. Rather than naming all the industries that rely on these materials, it may be more helpful to list a few of the products that empower them.
Here are three types of our plastic tubing, along with their material properties and applications:
1. Kryptonite Capillary Tubing
Originally designed for the oil and gas industry, Kryptonite capillary tubing is designed to withstand the most extreme operating conditions. With excellent thermal, corrosion, and creep resistance, this tubing is engineered to replace stainless steel — and at 45 pounds per thousand feet, it is a much lighter, more durable, and economical alternative. Other properties of this semi-crystalline thermoplastic include:
- Gas and hydrocarbon impermeability
- Low coefficient of friction
- Low shrinkage
- Ability to withstand continuous operation at temperatures up to 340°F
- High mechanical stability and impact resistance
- Resistant to scale and paraffin buildup
With such rugged durability and high performance under extreme operating conditions, Kryptonite capillary tubing is an excellent choice for any intense manufacturing process.
2. Butyrate and Propionate
Derived from natural compounds like wood pulp and cotton linters, butyrate and propionate are chemically treated thermoplastics. They are known for their glossy luster and versatility. Their high reflectivity causes them to shimmer more than other plastics and like many cellulose acetates, they can be melted and recast to form an entirely different product without compromising their original molecular structure.
Coupled with their resistance to mold and mildew, the versatility and sheen of butyrate and propionate make them a plastic of choice for many components where impact and thermal resistance are not required.
- Steering wheels
- Toothbrush handles
- Pen barrels
- Eyeglass frames
- Many more items
While normally transparent, custom coloring is available for all butyrate and propionate plastic tubing products.
Made from petrochemicals, nylon is one of the most versatile plastics on the market. Its cost-effectiveness and long-lasting lifecycle make it ideal in the manufacturing of plastic machine parts. Its excellent thermal and electrical insulating properties mean it is frequently found in the electronics industry. Its resistance to vibration and ability to withstand chemical corrosion also makes it a common choice for machine parts and tubing in refrigerators, air conditioners, and hydraulic lines. Anywhere an inexpensive, durable, stable tubing is needed, nylon will likely be the go-to plastic of choice.
At Inplex, our team of industry-leading experts has the experience to understand your plastic tubing and profile extrusion needs!
With so many applications for plastic tubing and profiles, perhaps a better question to ask would be: What industry doesn’t rely on such an essential component? At Inplex, our team of industry-leading experts not only has the experience to understand your tubing needs, but our in-house engineering and in-house tooling capabilities allow us to customize many plastic tubing orders according to specification, giving you the exact product you need.
Contact our team today, and choose from our standard or custom solutions to find the right tubing for your industry.
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