Pneumatic Tubing: Consider These 6 Aspects to Make the Right Choice

Pneumatic tubing

When deciding which pneumatic tubing to use, six criteria should be considered.

Pneumatic tubing is used for pneumatic system conduits. Polyurethane, nylon, polyethylene, PVC and PTFE tubing are the types most commonly used with compressed air systems. To select the right tubing, you need to know the characteristics, benefits and limitations of each type. Below are the six basic factors to consider when selecting the tubing best suited to your application.

Choose your pneumatic tubing based on: 

1. Working pressure

Working pressure is often the top criterion to consider. It is established using the burst pressure at an ambient temperature of about 20°C, to which a safety factor is added. The maximum working pressure of pneumatic tubing is the safe pressure that factors in all operational criteria. Nylon, nylon-polyurethane and PTFE tubing delivers the highest working pressures.

2. Conditions of the work environment 

Certain chemicals can adversely affect pneumatic tubing (swelling, deterioration, etc.). Contact a Technical Advisor at Topring to determine whether your process is compatible with pneumatic tubing. Other factors may alter the tubing’s performance and deterioration: extreme temperatures, chemical combinations, scrape abrasion, and pronounced, repeated bending. Nylon, nylon-polyurethane and PTFE tubing is highly resistant to chemicals and UV rays.

3. Flexibility and kink resistance

Depending on their composition, some types of pneumatic tubing are more flexible than others. Tubing with higher flexibility is best for applications that require a smaller bending radius or involve repetitive movements. In this case, choose polyurethane or nylon-polyurethane pneumatic tubing. For fixed jobs with less movement or a high working pressure, choose more rigid tubing, like one made of nylon.

4. Airflow

The rate of airflow through the tubing has a direct impact on the operating speed of a pneumatic mechanism. When choosing your pneumatic tubing, select the widest possible diameter that installation constraints allow. This will maximize the efficiency of circuit components (regulators, valves, cylinders, etc.). The type of fitting also affects the airflow rate. Compression fittings are installed inside the tubing, reducing its effective diameter and the airflow.  Push-to-connect fittings grip the outside of the tubing and have no impact on airflow. This means that smaller diameter tubing can sometimes be used with push-to-connect fittings, which trims the cost and takes up less space.

5. Working temperature 

The working temperature of your application can limit your choice of materials for pneumatic tubing. The rated working pressure for pneumatic tubing applies to the ambient temperature. The higher the actual working temperature, the lower the acceptable working pressure. Nylon, nylon-polyurethane and PTFE tubing allows for higher working temperatures (260°C for PTFE).

6. The type of fitting used 

Three types of fittings can be used with pneumatic tubing: push-to-connect fittings, compression fittings, and barbed fittings. When choosing your tubing, make sure it’s compatible with the type of fitting that will be used, and vice versa. The measurement specified for pneumatic tubing is generally that of the outside diameter. This is because tubing is mainly used with push-to-connect fittings. Tubing is available in imperial (in) and metric (mm) sizes. The chosen fitting must be of the same size.

Push-to-connect fittings and pneumatic tubing brochure To see all the types of tubing that Topring sells and how these perform based on certain criteria, download the Push-to-connect Fittings and Pneumatic Tubings catalogue.

Our featured products: 

S32 Pneumatic tubing

S32 Nylon 12 Tubing 

  • Excellent resistance to air pressure
  • Superior resistance to solvents, alkalis, oils, greases, petroleum products and mold
  • Good flexibility
  • Excellent resistance to crushing, abrasion and cracking
  • Very low moisture absorption
  • Excellent dimensional stability for perfect connection with push-to-connect fittings
  • Wide range of temperatures
  • RoHS compliant
  • Silicone-free
> See our selection

S33 Pneumatic tubing

S33 Nylon-Polyurethane Super Flexible Longlife™ Tubing

  • High air pressure range
  • Excellent resistance to crushing, abrasion and cracking
  • Very low moisture absorption
  • Excellent flexibility
  • Very strong
  • Superior dimensional stability for perfect connection with push-to-connect fittings
  • RoHS compliant
  • Silicone, phthalate and halogen free
> See our selection

S34 Pneumatic tubing

S34 Food Grade Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) Tubing 

  • Food grade LLDPE for standard industrial applications
  • Very good resistance to solvents
  • Excellent resistance to environmental stress cracks
  • Excellent bending radius
  • Certified under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards
  • RoHS compliant
  • Silicone and phthalate free
> See our selection

S34 Pneumatic tubing

S34 Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) Tubing 

  • Resistant to most chemicals and solvents
  • Superior stress crack resistance
  • Flexibility
  • Good dimensional stability
  • RoHS compliant
  • Silicone, phthalate and halogen free
> See our selection

S35 Pneumatic tubing

S35 Polyurethane Tubing (PU) 

  • Excellent resistance to oils, greases, gas, moisture and mold
  • Great resistance to UV rays, cuts and abrasion
  • Extremely flexible (even more than nylon tubing) for excellent bending radius
  • Extremely kink-resistant — withstands abuse that would damage other types of thermoplastic tubing
  • RoHS compliant
  • Silicone-free
> See our selection

For more information or for help choosing pneumatic tubing, contact a Technical Advisor at 1-800-263-8677 or by email at

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  • pneumatic tubing
  • pneumatic systems
  • compressed air
  • pressure
  • airflow
  • regulators

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