Clear plastic tubing is an interesting material. It has all the usage characteristics of regular 40 PVC pipe. It's tough, can withstand high pressure, has a long lifespan, and is inexpensive. It's cheap compared to copper or stainless steel pipes. For a 5-foot length, clear plastic tubing costs about four times the price of Schedule 40 PVC of the same diameter. This is because clear plastic pipes are more difficult to produce than white or grey PVC. If clear plastic pipes and tubes are so much more expensive, why would anyone buy them?
Clear plastic tubing allows you to observe fluid flow through the pipe. Visual monitoring is helpful in many situations. In food production and processing, it is critical to see the components of a product or final product move through the manufacturing process.
1. Food processing: This is an industry where close visual monitoring is key. The product must be closely watched at every stage of production to avoid contamination or other errors. Clear plastic tubing can be used to transport liquids, allowing supervisors to keep an eye on them. Imagine trying to cook while wearing a blindfold. That's what food production looks like without visual monitoring: simply not possible. Health requirements also require close monitoring of food throughout the production process.
2. Swimming pools and spas: Visual monitoring is helpful whenever chemicals are mixed into the water. Clear plastic pipe fittings are especially useful in larger pool backwash systems. When cleaning your pool, you back up the water through a pump system to remove dirt and debris from the filter. After the water has flowed through the filter, clear PVC tubing can be used to reveal all the goo and debris being pushed out of the system. This also lets you know when the filter is clean.
3. Aquarium: One of the most common uses of transparent plastic pipes is for professional aquariums. Home cleaning is critical when raising rare or exotic fish. As water passes through the filter, you want to see the difference from in to out. Clear plastic fittings can be used on both sides of the filter; one tube shows dirty water in and the other shows clean water out. If the water leaving the filter isn't as clear as it should be, it's time to clean the filter.
4. Labs: Science labs are filled with chemicals and gases not found anywhere else. When creating complex chemical mixtures in the lab, you want to see every step of the process. Therefore, clear plastic fittings should be used. While some more aggressive chemicals can break down PVC in liquid form, it is good at transporting gases.