Choose between 4 types of compressed air hoses

Compressed air hoses are the figurative lifeblood of a pneumatic system. These cores are essential for transmitting the compressed air generated by the compressor into machine movements. Because of this vital function within the compressed air system, it is very important to choose the right compressed air hose. A correct selection not only prevents unnecessary leaks (and therefore costs), but also ensures a higher reliability of the machine (fleet). In this blog we describe the characteristics of our range of hoses, which materials we use, what the application areas are and how to make the right selection.

Four types of snakes

The Festo portfolio has four main groups of compressed air hoses, all developed with a different type of material;

  • Polyurethane (PU), the widest range of hoses. These hoses combine flexibility with good chemical processing ability, resulting in a package of specific properties.
  • Polyethylene (PE) has wear-resistant properties with a sharp price-quality ratio.
  • Polyamide (nylon) hoses can be used at higher working pressures and higher temperatures.
  • Teflon®, the most high-quality hoses in terms of material.

Choosing the right compressed air hoses

The environmental factors and applications in a machine determine which compressed air hose is best suited for a pneumatic system. Each material type is described below so that you can make a good choice. The table at the bottom of the page also provides guidance and gives a complete overview of our hose range.

Applications polyurethane (PU) hoses

The PUN-H is the most versatile hose in the range. This polyurethane hose has the lowest bending radius, has hydrolysis-resistant properties and can be used without problems in food production processes because of its FDA certification. An additional advantage is that the PUN-H is part of the Festo core range, therefore PUN-H is available in volume packages on reels.

The flexible properties of the PUN-H also make this hose type highly suitable for moving parts such as cable chains. The PUN-H is available in six different colours and a transparent version. In addition to an attractive machine appearance, this variant provides clear insight into the compressed air quality within the machine. For example, condensation on the hose is immediately visible, which is an indicator of moisture in the system. In addition to the negative impact on the service life of pneumatic components, moisture is not acceptable within food safety standards.

The PUN-CM is a polyurethane hose with a specific compound, which contains antistatic properties. This makes the PUN-CM very suitable for applications with statically sensitive electronic components. The PUN-CM also has excellent applications within critical ATEX environments.

Festo has developed two types of polyurethane hoses for applications in the direct vicinity of welding processes. The PUN-VO has flame retardant properties and the PUN-VO-C provides additional protection against the burning of welding spatter, with possible leaks and failures as a result.

Applications polyamide hoses

Polyamide is better known under the generic name of Nylon, which is characterised by high stiffness and melting point. In compressed air hose applications, this translates into a higher maximum pressure range and applicability at higher ambient temperatures. The standard polyamide hose in the Festo range is known as PAN. PAN has a pressure range up to 19 bar overpressure and a maximum ambient temperature up to 80˚ Celsius. The PAN-R is marketed for standard applications where higher pressures are required. The PAN-R has a pressure range of up to 35 bar overpressure, the highest in the Festo compressed air hose portfolio.

PAN-MF is a further development, specifically for the mobile industry, such as the automotive industry, AGVs or agricultural machinery. The PAN-MF is certified under DIN 73378, which makes the hose suitable for applications in on-vehicla applications. The maximum ambient temperature for these applications is 100˚ Celsius and 31 bar overpressure.

With PAN-V0 the Festo range also includes a welding spatter resistant compressed air hose in polyamide form. The PAN-V0 has the same properties as the urethane version, but has greater possibilities in terms of pressure range (12 bar) and operating temperature (90˚ Celsius).

Applications Teflon® hoses

The highest quality hoses in the range are made from Perfluoroalkoxyalkane and Polytetrafluoroethylene, the latter better known under the brand name Teflon®. The PFAN (Perfluoroalkoxyalkane) is the highest quality hose in the range with excellent chemical resistance, a wide pressure and operating temperature range and FDA food certification. This makes the PFAN very suitable for critical applications in food and process production processes. Due to its high chemical resistance, the PFAN can be widely used in environments with aggressive media or cleaning agents.

The PTFEN (Teflon®) is an economical alternative with many overlapping properties. The PTFEN has slightly lower wear properties, which translates into a lower, but for many applications acceptable pressure range of 12 bar. Due to the material composition, it is not possible to print on the hoses and both are only available in diffuse transparent versions.

The overview below shows the complete product range of compressed air hoses and the corresponding specifications and properties.

July 2022