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Unread 04-03-2002, 08:12 PM   #1
zoson
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Tygon vs Silicone.

A lot has been added to this post since I first made it. Please read it again for more clarification and comparison.

Before I get started, I'd like to point out that the Tygon I got was thinwaill ID 1/2" OD 5/8" and the silicone tubing I have is thickwall ID 1/2" OD 3/4". This is of importance because of the fact that thinwall will kink much more easily.
Now, because I'm a n00b and I can never get pictures to work right, I'm going to tell you that you can see the tygon at http://pictures.zoson.net/tygon. You should find all the pictures you want there.

Appearance:
Just by looking at the Tygon, you would think it's vinyl. It looks like vinyl, and is completely clear. Compared to the milky white color of silicone, this stuff is beautiful.

Flex and Softness:
Tygon is EASILY more flexible than silicone. It will bend and turn without problems given that you have enough tubing. Tygon IS very soft and will squish under very little pressure, which makes clamping effective. It also stretches very well.

Elasticity and Barbs:
I was easily able to get the tubing to fit over the large barb on my eheim 1250 pump. I'm not sure how big the barb is, but it's bigger than a 5/8" ID barb. Due to it's elasticity this stuff is EXTREMELY hard to pull off of barbs that are ID 1/2". It is easier to remove from brass barbs than plastic barbs though. For properly sized 1/2" OD barbs, you will not require any clamps. But on my Black Ice Xtreme radiator, I did need to clamp it (I had to clamp my silicone tubing as well on the radiator).
Tygon IS very soft and will squish under very little pressure, which makes clamping effective.

Kinks:
As far as kinks go, tygon tends to sort of flatten out, but the channel inside remains open, up to a fairly far point. If you look at the picture of me holding the tubing up and flexing it. That was about as far as I could bend it without it actually kinking. It does kink sooner than silicone tubing, but that may be because the tubing is thinwall.

Freezer test:
Per Una's request, I stuck some of the tubing in the freezer before I started working on my computer. I took it out after about an hour, and started to play with it. The tubing remained flexible, but was a little more stiff. It was NOT brittle.

Chemical Absorbtion:
One thing that is a huge mark for Tygon and against silicone is the fact that silicone is a porous material, and absorbs compounds like Water Wetter, dyelite, and antifreeze. The laboratory grade Tygon is designed to do exactly the opposite of this. It resists absorption of chemicals, and will not discolor because of them. Silicone discolors heavily after a little use. Because of the discoloration associated with silicone absorbing the water wetter in my coolant, UV light was unable to penetrate the silicone, and my coolant would not glow. This will not be a problem with Tygon.

Memory:
Contrary to popular belief, Tygon does not have a "memory" like vinyl has, and will not get stuck in a shape like vinyl will. When my tubing arrived, It had been rolled up, and vacuum packed. So it had probably been like that for awhile. Also counting that it took over a week to get to me. Also in my experience, silicone DOES have a memory. I have a picture of this on my website above.

Price:
It does run a little more expensive than silicone. Tygon is about $2 per foot. You can get it at http://www.vwrsp.com/catalog/product...ect_id=0013719 in both the 3/8" ID and 1/2" ID flavors.

Conclusion:
Hands down, I think this stuff beats silicone. It's more flexible. It kinks at about the same point of flex. It's completely clear. It doesn't get messed up if it's frozen. It fits snugly on barbs without need of clamps. While it is a little more expensive than silicone, I think that the appearance of this stuff alone makes it worth the extra $.

Enjoy!
-Zoson
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Last edited by zoson; 04-03-2002 at 11:32 PM.
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Unread 04-03-2002, 08:17 PM   #2
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it sounds like Vinyl that just doesnt get brittle when cold.


I dont see how that would beat silicone? Also it sounds like it maintain all the other bad points of Vinyl
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Unread 04-03-2002, 08:26 PM   #3
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Bad points? Tygon doesn't need clamps for barbs that fit right. Vinyl does. Tygon doesn't age and get messed up over time. Tygon doesn't discolor. Tygon won't leech the water wetter out of your coolant. Tygon stretches like silicone, and has the good looks of vinyl. It's basically the best of both worlds.
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Unread 04-03-2002, 08:46 PM   #4
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beats silicon in my openion cause its clear..that frosted bs looks like shiz
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Unread 04-03-2002, 09:36 PM   #5
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Sup how does it hold up to tearing? Was it easy to cut, or should I say easier than silicone? What is the max temp it can sustain?
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Unread 04-03-2002, 09:36 PM   #6
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Since its made for lab use, you know it won't absorb additives or release too much material into the coolant.
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Unread 04-03-2002, 10:56 PM   #7
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yeah, Tygon does seem really cool to me. it is clear and has various good points that are equal to or better than Silicone
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Unread 04-03-2002, 11:03 PM   #8
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I can't imagine tygon tearing or ripping, I was pulling on it damn hard to get it to come off my wb... required my neighbor to hold it and me to pull on the tubing, and i went flying back when it finally came off... It was designed for lab use so it can get really really hot or really really cold and be fine.
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Unread 04-03-2002, 11:10 PM   #9
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Does this tygon stretch diameter wise as well as silicone? What I mean is will it stretch to one barb bigger than it's standard ID (3/8ID tygon --> 1/2ID barb)? I'm was going to order some 3/8ID silicone from dangerden because the 1/2ID is so large (I have 1/2" barbs), but tygon seems interesting, and I might try some just for fun. Not absorbing chemicals is a major plus, tho.
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Unread 04-03-2002, 11:19 PM   #10
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Re-read the section on elasticity and barbs sunblade .
-Zoson
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Unread 04-03-2002, 11:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joe
it sounds like Vinyl that just doesnt get brittle when cold.


I dont see how that would beat silicone? Also it sounds like it maintain all the other bad points of Vinyl
Did you not read his post? It's nothing like vinyl, the only thing it has in common with vinyl is that it's clear.
Try sticking 1/2" vinyl onto a 5/8" fitting.. Not gunna happen.
Ever unroll a roll of vinyl, and have it not try to roll back up? This stuff goes perfectly flat.
I would say your first sentence should have been:
"it sounds like Silicone, only clear."
It does everything silicone does. Doesn't harden at cold temps, doesn't get soggy at high temps, doesn't age, stretches over barbs, properly squishes under clamps so you don't have to use 2 or 3 like many vinyl people do.
I say this stuff should be called Miracle Tube..
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Unread 04-03-2002, 11:25 PM   #12
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question about its texture... is it kind of klingy like vinyl is?
as in how ti sticks to the barbs.... the vinyl i use you cant just pull off, you have to start twisting it while pulling it cause of how it sticks to the barbs. Is this the same way tygons is?

i guess i should refer more to this as friction....
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Unread 04-03-2002, 11:30 PM   #13
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Silicone tubing would still be better if you wanted glowing coolant though.
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Unread 04-03-2002, 11:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Silicone tubing would still be better if you wanted glowing coolant though.
why? wouldn't you be able to see the colant better with clear?
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Unread 04-03-2002, 11:57 PM   #15
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ya! for real dude, clear is better than frosty. it's easier to tell when your system is fully bled with clear tubing too!

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Unread 04-04-2002, 12:24 AM   #16
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Looks like Tygon tubing is a much better choice than Silicon ones...... other than the pricing....
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Unread 04-04-2002, 01:33 AM   #17
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thats the only thing bad about it - it costs toooo much! the 1/2 ID, 5/8 OD is reasonable tho....

i think we should look for other places to buy this tubing; find the lowest price for 3/8 and 1/2 thick-walled. then get Danger Den to buy 1000+ feet of the stuff and sell that instead of silicone. it would still cost more most likely, but it would be cheaper than buying it yourself.
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Unread 04-04-2002, 01:49 AM   #18
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Saw this stuff about a year ago and wondered what was so special about it. Nice appraisal Zoson
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Unread 04-04-2002, 07:19 AM   #19
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This stuff sounds nice, going to have to get some for the next project of mine
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Unread 04-04-2002, 08:06 AM   #20
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All - You need to be aware that there are quite a few different formulations of Tygon, some harder than others. Look at this old thread for other info and links to other places that sell it (and have multiple types).

Zoson - what formulation of the Zygon did you get, the Medical grade R-3603 in your link?
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Unread 04-04-2002, 09:07 AM   #21
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Ok, I missed the stretchy incident in the original post, lol.

Looking at mcmaster, both the 1/2ID 5/8OD variety of food (B-44-4X) and lab (R-3603) grade tygon are under $2/foot. It's the second item down:

http://www.mcmaster.com/catalog/108/html/0083.html

Also, the manufacturer has a chemical resistance chart that might be helpful to the curious here:

http://www.tygon.com/chem/chemafrset.html

I think I'll try some of this over more silicone. It seems interesting.
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Unread 04-04-2002, 09:33 AM   #22
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www.usplastic.com has many many many different kinds of this Tygon stuff.

They even have a yellow-tinted fuel/lubricant version!

Prices are a little better than mcmasters

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Unread 04-04-2002, 10:14 AM   #23
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I got the lab grade Tygon.
1/2 x 5/8 1/16 AACUN036 63009-180 Pack $18.67
That's the exact line, it's the 6th product from the top.
After 24 hours of use, this stuff is still solid, no leaks on any of my barbs, and my coolant glows a LOT more.
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Unread 04-04-2002, 11:11 AM   #24
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The chart shows a 'E' (Excellent) rating for beer THAT is a good point !
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Unread 04-04-2002, 11:23 AM   #25
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Dammit! I just order silicone tubing from DDen yesterday! I doubt it has shipped yet... I wonder if I could change my order? hmmm. the tygon you speak of 1/2 ID 5/8 OD is $1.87 a foot at Mcmaster-carr, or 1.53 if you buy at least 50 feet. That's comparable to silicone.
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