"Industrial hose" is a broad term used to describe hose products that are used for any application other than hydraulic. This list can include hoses designed to handle air, water, food products, beverages, cement, dry materials, chemicals, fuel, and countless more!
Think of it like this: hydraulic hoses are built for hydraulic equipment and usually convey hydraulic oil used to move arms, lift buckets, bounce cars... you get the idea. Hydraulic hoses are the worker bees of this metaphorical colony, designed to fulfill one simple purpose. Industrial hoses on the other hand are born with predetermined destinies. Each hose type is actually built for a specific purpose, and there are so many unique purposes that naming them all would exceed our 3000 word-count limit. Just remember:
Industrial hoses are designed for specific applications. Those applications are not hydraulic.
Like everything else in our industry some terms are used broadly (see adapter vs fitting) depending on the situation. Some hoses can fulfill the roles of both an industrial or hydraulic hose. For instance, a hose built using special compounds to handle hazardous chemicals may handle hydraulic oil suction as well.
While hydraulic hoses are intended for hydraulic equipment, Industrial hoses convey materials ranging from water to hazardous chemicals
Industrial hoses have a massive variety of hose-ends and attachment methods to choose from
Industrial hoses are available in a wide range of sizes, colors, and materials
So, how do you choose the right hose? How do you choose the right assembly for the job?
If you've read our STAMPED blog, (size, temperature, application, media, pressure, ends, and delivery) you're already aware that a hose must be compatible with your application to avoid failure. The same holds true for industrial hose as well, and yet we can't help but think the order of that acronym doesn't do industrial hose justice.
With Mid-State, delivery trumps everything else. All the options in the world mean nothing if you can't have your assembly on time. Luckily, the cornucopia of options we complained about above actually come in handy here. Since industrial hoses may technically fulfill multiple roles, we can often provide speedy delivery by using commonly stocked hose as a substitute. We may also have multiple ends available to meet a requirement. "It will be 3 days before that aluminum type e cam-lock arrives, but we have it in steel. Can you use that?" Of course, we do carry a large inventory, and can always get the exact item a client needs for their application, as long as they don't ask for a thousand feet of 8" ID dry-material handling hose by tomorrow. That one may take a few days...
This is where the predetermined destiny mentioned above comes into play. Industrial hoses, for the most part, are designed to work in applications non-suitable for hydraulic hoses. These applications could be anything from mulch-blowing to aircraft refueling, and are areas where the ID sizes, material composition, and temperature ratings of hydraulic hose simply would fail.
There is no area where the differences between hydraulic and industrial hoses are more vast than media. Hydraulic hoses are great at handling oil, water, and some fuels, but that's about it. Industrial hoses however may be designed to handle steam, cement, epoxies, gas, sand, nitrogen, hot tar, milk, and thousands more.
The act of conveying certain materials may also result in static electricity buildup, which is quite dangerous if the media conveyed or surrounding elements are combustible. Some industrial hoses counteract this by offering a internal static-wire, that when properly grounded to the end connections allows for safe dissipation of that charge, and significant less KABOOMS!
More often than not, industrial hoses have significantly lower pressure ratings than hydraulic hoses. The applications in which most industrial hoses operate are lower pressure (think 300PSI vs 3000PSI) and suction applications are more common as well. It is also important to note that some industrial hoses do NOT share the same 4:1 safety factor as their hydraulic cousins. Always consult manufacturer specifications when selecting the right hose for your application to ensure the working and burst pressures are suitable.
End connections for hydraulic hoses are almost always crimped. Due to their low-pressure applications, industrial hose-end connections may be crimped, swaged, clamped, or even banded. The ends available also vary widely in availability, thread type, configuration, material, and connection-method. It is not uncommon to see steel, iron, brass, stainless, or even polypropylene end-connectors for industrial hose.
Perhaps the biggest visual difference between hydraulic and industrial hoses are the sizes available. Hydraulic hoses range from 1/4" -2" ID, while industrial hoses may range from 1/4- 8" ID! These large inside diameters are designed to handle large volume transfer of materials and allow as much flow as possible. Depending on the application, the temperature rating of industrial hoses vary widely as well. Hydraulic systems are somewhat static in operating range, while industrial hoses may need to handle steam up to 450°!
Check out the industrial hose section of our resources page, download our STAMPED form, or contact us today for assistance with your industrial hose needs. Our Youngstown Rubber branch specializes in the assembly and fabrication of industrial hose assemblies, and can be your go-to experts for all related questions.