What Is Poly Tubing and How Is It Used in Airplanes?

Poly tubing by Monroe

Poly tubing is commonly used in airplanes. From large commercial airliners to small single-engine airplanes, poly tubing plays an important role in their operations. What is poly tubing, and how is it used in airplanes exactly?

Overview of Poly Tubing

Poly tubing is a type of flexible, corrosion-resistant tubing that’s used to carry liquids and gases. Also known as PE tubing, it’s characterized by a polyethylene construction.

You can find poly tubing in different sizes. Some poly tubing is longer or wider than others. Regardless, all poly tubing is made of the plastic-based material of its namesake. Poly tubing is made exclusively of polyethylene. The name “poly tubing” is a direct reference to this plastic-based material.

How Poly Tubing Is Used in Airplanes

Poly tubing is highly versatile and used in a variety of applications. In airplanes, it’s often used to carry fuel. Airplanes have fuel lines that run from their fuel tanks to their engine. Polyethylene offers a reliable and effective material for fuel lines. Airplanes may use poly tubing for their fuel lines.

In addition to fuel, poly tubing is commonly used to carry hydraulic fluid. Hydraulic fluid is a liquid — typically mineral oil or water based — that’s designed to transfer power in hydraulic devices or machinery. Landing gear systems, for instance, are often hydraulic. Airplanes use pressurized hydraulic fluid to raise and lower their landing gear. For landing gear systems and other hydraulic systems, poly tubing may be used to carry the pressurized fluid.

Poly tubing can also be used to carry air in airplanes. Some airplanes feature hydraulic landing gear, whereas others feature pneumatic landing gear (among other pneumatic systems). Pneumatic landing gear leverages pressurized air. Airplanes with pneumatic landing gear may use poly tubing to carry this pressurized air.

Benefits of Poly Tubing

With its polyethylene construction, poly tubing offers several key benefits. As previously mentioned, it’s resistant to corrosion. Polyethylene is a type of plastic, and like all types of plastic, it’s resistant to corrosion.

Poly tubing is also flexible. You can run it through tight spaces and around sharp corners without fear of damaging it. Poly tubing is also heat resistant. It can withstand hot fluids and gases without degrading.

In Conclusion

It may look like ordinary tubing, but poly tubing is made of a special type of plastic-based material known as polyethylene. It’s used in a wide range of applications. In airplanes, poly tubing is used to carry various fluids and gases.

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