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What is a Pneumatic Hose?

By Ray Hawk
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pneumatic is a term that refers to air, gasses, or wind movement, but a pneumatic hose in industry is understood to be a hose capable of conducting gasses at greater than atmospheric pressure. In mechanics, pneumatics is the application of pressurized gasses to perform work. Many power tools, such as nail guns, air wrenches, and drills, utilize pneumatic pressure. Some hydraulic systems also work upon the principle of pneumatics, such as air brakes on certain aircraft and trains.

Hoses designed for pneumatic applications, as well as pneumatic valves and accessories, are often made out of plastics, such as nylon, rubber, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). High-pressure pneumatic hose may also be made out of plastics, yet reinforced with sheathing of fiber or metal weave to strengthen the design. This is often referred to as braided pneumatic hose. High-pressure pneumatic hose used in aircraft systems and elsewhere must meet government safety and testing guidelines to avoid potential explosions, loss of control of an aircraft, or a failure of the engine itself.

Aside from being able to withstand increased gas pressures, pneumatic hose in general is also made to be resistant to damage by a wide variety of common industrial chemicals, temperature changes, and natural oxidation. Manufacturers of pneumatic hose sell it internationally for many purposes, for uses in agriculture, construction, and to individuals, so it must be made to stand up to a variety of conditions. It is also built to be lightweight and flexible so that it is easy to work with and easy to attach fittings to.

Using pneumatic pumps, solenoid valves, and pneumatic cylinders in combination ensures that all parts in a system are able to stand up to the increased pressure. A common example of this is a compressed air system employed for power tools. The system has a compressor motor that pulls in outside air, sends it to a air cylinder that stores it under pressure, and releases it via an electrically- or air-controlled valve through the pneumatic hose that powers the tool. The entire system is based on parts, hoses, and fittings designed with similar pressure ratings to ensure safety and reliability.

Manufacturers for high-quality pneumatic hose exist from China to the United States. Due to its widespread, everyday use, there are no stringent import or export restrictions on it. Despite its common availability, however, pneumatic hose can be expensive. Once damaged, it usually cannot be repaired and must instead be replaced with new hose.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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