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How to Measure Rubber Tubing

By Brittney Hoover 7 years ago 72431 Views No comments


How to Measure Rubber Tubing

There are three main measurements that matter when specifying rubber tubing dimensions– inner diameter (ID), outer diameter (OD), and wall thickness (WT). When you are ordering or requesting a rubber tube to be manufactured, you will need to know at least two out of the three dimensions. The combination of measurements will vary based on your specific application requirements and acceptable tolerance ranges.

The image below depicts each measurement of a tube.

If you only know two of the dimensions, you can easily calculate the remaining dimension with one of the formulas below.

O.D. = I.D. + 2(W.T.)

I.D. = O.D. – 2(W.T.)

W.T. = (O.D. – I.D.) / 2

If you are physically taking any of these measurements, you should try to avoid causing any deformation during measurement, especially if it’s a lower durometer rubber that is soft and pliable. Depending on the size of the tube, there are a few different measurement tools that can be used, like calipers or pin gauges, to get accurate measurements. You should also factor tolerances into your size specifications and confirm with the manufacturer that these tolerances can be held.

Knowing the dimensions, especially wall thickness, is helpful because it may narrow down the potential material options and manufacturing methods. For example, one of the differences between natural rubber and natural rubber latex tubing is tolerances; you can get much tighter tolerances and thinner walls with dipped natural rubber latex tubing than you can with extruded natural rubber tubing. So, if your application calls for a very thin wall, you may be advised to use natural rubber latex dipped tubing instead of extruded.

The manufacturer will undoubtedly ask for these dimensions before they can provide any pricing or confirm their ability to produce. You can expedite the process if you have these dimensions and any other product specifications established before you speak with a manufacturer. If you do not know all of the necessary dimensions, there are manufacturers that can help establish those specifications if they have enough information about your intended application.

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