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Superthane® Ester-based or Ether-based polyurethane tubing – why would I pick one over the other?

One type of polyurethane is not better than another, but your application does have to be considered when choosing between the two. Ester-based polyurethane offers slightly better fuel and oil resistance; however, water attacks it and significantly reduces its physical properties. Ether-based polyurethane exhibits far superior hydrolytic stability, especially in humid environments. Ether-based tubing will also resist fungus growth much better than ester-based.

Physical Properties

Hardness, Shore A +/- 58585
Tensile strength, psi60005500
Elongation at Break550580
Brittleness Temperature, °F-95-90
Max Operating Temp., °F185175
  • Both are used with barbed fittings.
  • Both are made from non-toxic ingredients conforming to FDA standards for use with wet and fatty food contact surfaces.
  • The ether-based material is listed by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF61) for use with potable water.
  • Both are resistant to oil, greases, and fuels.*
  • Both are extremely resistant to weathering, tearing, impact, radiation, and abrasion. Ether would be the best outdoor use option because it is both UV resistant and not affected by water or humidity.
  • Neither one contains plasticizers that leach and cause tubing to harden.
  • Can be heat sealed, coiled, fabricated, or bonded.
  • Much more resistant to pressure and vacuum than corresponding PVC and rubber tubing.

*due to additives in today’s gasoline and petroleum products, field testing should be performed.

Title: Superthane® Ester-based or Ether-based polyurethane tubing – why would I pick one over the other?
Description: Overview of the Superthane® Ester and Ether based tubing.
Published: 11/1/2010
Last Edited: 1/19/2023
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