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Part 1: Air Hose Inner Tubing


Function
The purpose of the air hose is to move compressed air
from the tank area to the nozzle, where various
attachments would be placed.
Required Properties

Cheap: Given the price of the product in question at

$14.88 (Craftright 12V 250PSI Mini Air Compressor",


n.d.), it is required that the hose be relatively cheap,
which implies an inexpensive material cost.

Flexible: Clearly, the hose much be flexible in order to

Figure 1: Anatomy of a pressure hose (RLHudson, n.d.)

fulfil its use by connecting to various attachments which require the compressed air. This means that lower
stiffness is required to avoid the material being brittle, and a high range of stresses under which the hose
will exhibit only elastic deformation.

Resistant to plastic deformation: Both while in use as well as in the process of bending the hose for
connection to attachments, the hose must not deform permanently as this would damage the structure and
possibly lead to an undesired failure. This essentially entails a high yielding point.

High pressure (up to 250psi) resistance: The air compressor is said to be rated to 250psi pressure

(Craftright 12V 250PSI Mini Air Compressor", n.d.) which necessitates that the hose itself can withstand
this pressure without bursting or leaking. This means a relatively dense molecular structure through which
no fluid can escape.

High temperature resistance: While in use, the pressure hose is likely to experience an increase in
temperature. This means that the hose material must not melt at a low temperature or be significantly
more prone to plastic deformation at these temperatures.

Ability to withstand repeated pressurisations: During the lifetime of the air compressor, the hose will have

to endure many pressurisations and depressurisations. This again implies that the material has to have
good resistance to plastic deformation (i.e. a high yield point).

Material
Synthetic Rubber
Synthetic rubber is most likely material with all the aforementioned properties (especially the ability to mass
produce). The strength of the inner tube in this product suggests that it has possibly been fortified with a
chemical that induces chain cross-linkage (e.g. sulfur, isoprene).
Properties and Manufacture of Material
Rubber is flexible due to the bendable polymer chains from which it is comprised. Synthetic rubber very good
resistance to plastic deformation and a tensile strength of approximately 0.5MPa (Allsealsinc, n.d.). Synthetic
rubber is advantageous over natural rubber (which contains impurities like dirt, proteins) as it has better
temperature resistance and resistance to chemical attack from the environment and therefore lasts longer
(Sethuraj & Mathew, 1992).
Synthetic rubber is manufactured by the polymerisation of various petroleum products (as opposed to being
extracted from certain tropical plants (as with natural rubber). It is either in the form of polybutadiene, or
styrene-butadiene rubber. The former is produced when butadiene is added to a hexene solvent and catalyst
causing a reaction to occur, which forms a string of butadiene monomers (polybutadiene), at which point
another catalyst stops the reaction at a precise point for optimal chain length (Groover, 2010). The latter is
produced in a similar way however butadiene is initially mixed with styrene before polymerisation is induced.
For each, chemicals are then pumped in for specialised uses (e.g. Isoprene and sulfur cause cross linking of
polymer chains: higher tensile strength, better resistance to stress cracking, improved fluid resistance, better
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flame resistance, high stiffness, better chemical resistance, extending elastic properties over a greater range
of temperatures) (Groover, 2010). !

After this step the rubber exists in a milky solution (Groover, 2010). At this point, water and organic solvent
is added to the mix. The organic solvent is boiled off (lower boiling temp than water) causing the rubber to
coagulate into bean sized solid pieces (Groover, 2010). The remaining water is then drained off through a
variety of processes, leaving the rubber with the consistency of wet sand. The end product then pressed into
bales which are then shipped to where the manufacture of a specific product occurs (melting and reforming
of the rubber in this state is fairly simple).
To make hoses, the rubber is run through warm rollers to thin it into sheets which are then rolled over a
lubricated steel mandrel to the desired thickness (Kumar, 2013). The reinforcement layer is rolled over the
hose after it is removed form the mandrel.
Part 2: Air Hose Outer Positive Reinforcement
Function
To provide the hose with both a nicer aesthetic finish as well as protecting and providing positive
reinforcement to the inner hose.
Required Properties

Flexibility: Similar to the inner tube, the outer reinforcement layer must be able to bend and deform without
entering the region of plastic deformation. It must also be able to mould tightly to the inner tube and
provide resistance to radial deformation of the tube. This means that the material used must have a high
yield point.

Puncture resistance: As this layer comes into contact with the outer environment, it must be able to resist

benign scratches and bumps in order to maintain pressure and reinforcement for the air-conveying inner
hose.

Temperature resistance: As the inner tube warms up, the outer reinforcement layer must be able to

withstand this temperature change without melting, burning, or warping in any permanent way. This means
that the material must not have a low melting point, and must not be
prone to plastic deformation at higher temperatures.

Chemical resistance: Due to the fact that the outer layer comes

into contact with the atmosphere, it must be stable in air and not
degrade with contact to oxygen or water. This must hold true in
order for the layer to provide maximum robustness over the
lifetime of the product.

Material
Braided Nylon 6,6
Upon investigation under a microscope at 250x magnification, the
structure of the textile appeared to mimic that of nylon as opposed to
cotton, with smaller bundle diameter in the weaving structure (see
figures 2 and 3).

Figure 2: Cotton under microscope at 304x


magnification (Vartest, n.d.)

Nylon 6,6 is the more likely for use in this application as it is known
for its superior ductility and tensile strength (Xu, 2008).
There are other methods of applying this like knitting but the
distinctive diamond like pattern on this specific hose, and the fact
that the tube is rated up to 250psi, suggests that braiding was the
method for this product (Peres, n.d.).
Properties and Manufacture of Material
Braiding basically consists of a horizontal and vertical bundles
which are woven together. The braiding absorbs the longitudinal

Figure 3: Nylon under microscope at 300x


magnification (Dino-lite, n.d.)

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forces caused by internal pressure within the hose. Due to its inherent flexibility, the braid moulds itself
perfectly to the movement of the hose and not only prevents hose lengthening due to pressure, but also
absorbs external tensile forces and protects the outside of the hose.
The method by which the braiding is attached to the inner tube depends on the type of fitting and the
demands on the hose. The braiding is most likely applied with the non-mandrel style which is common and
effective for hoses meant to carry less than 500psi and under 2 inches in diameter with less strict
dimensional tolerances (Kumar, 2013). This is carried out by passing long lengths of extruded tube material
through a machine which adds the reinforcement in braided layers as opposed to doing this on the mandrel
(Kumar, 2013). Often the tube is pressurised during this process in order to keep it from flattening.
Braiding for smaller hose is carried out predominantly with woven textiles: nylon 6,6 in this case. Nylon is a
completely synthetic material with high durability, resistance to strain, abrasion, insect and fungal attacks,
temperature and high tensile strength (Xu, 2008). The specific type of nylon, nylon 6,6 is produced by
condensation polymerisation with a diamine and carboxylic acid (hexamethylene diamine and adipic acid)
which creates a polymer with a more tightly packed molecular structure than nylon 6 (Xu, 2008). This denser
molecular structure leads to enhanced ductility and tensile strength (Xu, 2008).

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References
Allsealsinc. (n.d.). SBR Rubber [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from http://www.allsealsinc.com/SBR-popup.html!
Craftright 12V 250PSI Mini Air Compressor. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bunnings.com.au/
craftright-12v-250psi-mini-air-compressor_p6270165.!
Dino-Lite. (n.d.). Nylon Fiber [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.dino-lite.com/products_list_minute.php?
product_number_abridge=AM7013MZT!
Groover, M. P. (2010). Fundamentals of Modern Manufacturing: Materials, Processes, and Systems. New
Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.!
Kumar, R. S. (2013). Textiles for Industrial Applications. Boca Raton, Florida: Taylor & Francis.!
Peres, L. (n.d.). Techfiles Hose Reinforcement: Positive Reinforcement. Retrieved from http://
www.rlhudson.com/ipad_test/index.htm!
RLHudson. (n.d.). Tech Hose Anatomy [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.rlhudson.com/images/
knowledgebase/techfiles/tech_hose.anatomy.jpg!
Sethuraj, R. and N. T. Mathew (1992). Natural Rubber: Biology, Cultivation and Technology. Philadelphia:
Elsevier Science.!
Vartest. (n.d.). Electron Micrograph Of Plain Weave Sheeting Fabric [Image]. Retrieved from http://
vartest.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Electron-Micrograph-Of-Plain-Weave-Sheeting-Fabric.jpg!
Xu, X. (2008). Cellulose Fiber Reinforced Nylon 6 Or Nylon 66 Composites. Atlanta: Georgia Institute of
Technology.

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