Corrugated and interlocked metal hose is very beneficial in certain applications. When used in appropriate applications, the life of the hose can have a considerably longer lifespan than a rubber or PVC style hose in the same application.
Stripwound Hose and Abrasive Applications
This metal hose can provide the means to transfer extremely abrasive materials between two points without contaminating the product with residue. If the material traveling through the hose is hard or sharp, it could knick or scrape the internal coating of a softer hose, so interlocked hose is what is generally used in these applications. Interlocked hose is offered in two different styles. These two styles are rough bore/unlined and smooth bore/lined. Both styles can be packed or unpacked. By design, interlocked metal hose is not vacuum or pressure tight. In applications where this is critical, a variety of packing can be selected. Temperature - and whether the application is indoor or outdoor - can also be a deciding factor on choosing the packing material.
The thickness of the metal strips that construct the hose ranges from (.010 to .030). These thicknesses are considered extra light weight, medium weight, heavy and extra heavy. Temperature ranges are from 200 degrees to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Material choices are Aluminum, Galvanized Steel, and Stainless Steel.
Smooth bore hose is unidirectional and has flow arrows painted on the outside of the hose indicating the direction of flow. Upon request, these arrows can also be provided in a high-velocity application when using rough bore hose. These arrows also help as a visual to make sure the hose is not torqued or twisted, which shortens the lifespan of the hose.
Corrugated Hose and Steam and Extremely Hot Water, Air, or Oil Applications
Corrugated metal hose is designed in a completely different way than interlocked hose. The corrugated hose has a thin-wall metal tube that has helical or annular corrugations. This type of hose is generally covered with metal wires woven in a basket weave fashion. This acts as a reinforcement so that the inner tube can withstand the working pressures.
The braided sheath fits snuggly over the hose and is fastened to the ends. This keeps the hose from elongating under pressure. One of the most common applications for this hose is as a pump connector and its flexibility allows it to act as a shock absorber in hard pipe applications. This type of hose is also used in steam or extremely hot water applications as well as conveying hot air or oil.
Industries that Use Metal Hose
This is not a complete list by any means, but it does cover common uses of stripwound or corrugated hose.
Environmental or Industrial Clean Up
Oil & Gas
Selecting the Right Hose Type is Critical
Both types of hose have numerous styles of fittings that can be installed on each end of the hose, plus a variety of alloys. If you are considering using one of these styles of hose and have never had any engineering experience, then you may want to contact your local hose distributor and they should be able to help you choose the appropriate hose for your application.
Brian Crisp has been in the hose and fittings industry for over 30 years, starting with Asheville Hose & Fittings and then with Cross Company. He would love to help you find the hose and/or fitting solution for your specific need!