Do I need tubes or hoses for hydraulic assemblies?

With hydraulic applications, people often find themselves choosing between tube and hose assemblies. You may be someone that is curious as to which is the better option. In short, both have their advantages and disadvantages. What we want to do is focus on those areas where tubes come out on top. Continue reading if you are interested in discovering more, then speak to us if you need services like tube reduction.


Firstly, tube is usually the better choice in most scenarios when it comes to how long they last. This is a general rule, but one that doesn’t always apply. The effects of heat, UV light, chemical exposure, abrasion, vibration, and other elements can diminish the tube assembly’s benefits. However, tubing will normally outlast hoses. It will in applications involving high-impulse, high-cycle applications and UV light exposure.


Tube reductionWhen expansion under pressure is a consideration, tube is the better choice. When a hose gets pressurised, its length increases and the diameter expands. Overall, the volume of the hose’s interior increases slightly. With enough hoses in your system, the increase in the necessary hydraulic fluid you need to finish the job can become apparent. Moreover, the hose’s volume fluctuation lowers the hydraulic system’s efficiency and reaction time.

To compare, the expansion of metal tubing is negligible. This makes it the superior choice for projects needing stability.

Bend radius

Tube is the better choice if you need a tight bend radius. Tubing assemblies come with far tighter bends than you can achieve with hoses. Selecting a tight bend radius can increase flow resistance.

You can bend tubes using big radius blocks. Producing tube assemblies with several bend radii can be difficult though. It will lead to you spending more time and money. For this reason, the majority of assemblies with tubes get produced using a single bend radius for the entire assembly. If you need our tube reduction services, get in touch.

Abrasion resistance

If this is important, you should go with tube assemblies. Hoses will probably suffer more in highly abrasive settings. This is even if you use abrasion resistant sleeves or hose covers.

UV resistance

With resistance to the effects of UV light, tube again comes out on top. Steel isn’t influenced by exposure to it. However, rubber hose covers break down with time. UV resistant options do exist, but they don’t provide full protection. The rubber will still perish given enough time.

Temperature ratings

Here is another area where tubing shines brightest. Most hydraulic hoses will work in temperatures ranging from -40ºF to 212ºF. High and low temperature hoses also exist that can work in temperatures reaching -70ºF and 302ºF. Although, a hose’s working pressure could be de-rated in certain temperature ranges for specific media.

To compare, carbon steel tubes are able to function in temperatures between -65ºF and 500ºF. Stainless steel tubes work in temperatures between -425ºF and 1,200ºF. You still need to consider temperature de-rating factors with metal tubing. But, it happens at far greater temperatures in comparison to hose.


Lastly, with maintenance needs, tube is the better choice. Hoses tend to come with shorter service lives and typically don’t give off failure warnings. This makes them more demanding to maintain. If you can use tubes, they will need less maintenance. The cost of use over time is also lower than with hoses.

Tube reduction for various types of metal tubing

At Multiform Tubes Engineering Ltd, we can work with tubes in a wide array of materials. We have experience with the likes of brass, copper, titanium, and aluminium. We work with multiple steels as well, including stainless and hydraulic. Every material has its own specifications in terms of appearance, durability, and strength. We adapt services to account for them, delivering accurate results.

We can arrange tube reduction and more for almost any need. So, if you are interested in working with us, please get in touch.