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Flexible Metal Tubing – A Critical Component for Safe, Efficient Extraction

Flexible metal tubing, often made of stainless steel or bronze, has become a highly useful component in many extraction processes and systems. Using flexible tubing in extractive setups and operations provides some major benefits over rigid piping. Here are some of the key reasons flexible tubing is an important advancement for extractions:

Improved Safety
Rigid metal pipes and tubes can crack, rupture, or leak at joints when dealing with high pressures or corrosive substances during extractions. This exposes workers to hazards and leads to lost product and environmental risks. Flexible metal tubing is far less prone to cracking or leaking even under high internal pressures or repeated bending forces. This greatly improves safety for workers. The ability to flex and move prevents dangerous build up of stresses on the tubing.

Simpler Modifications
Extracting different products often requires reconfiguring equipment connections and layouts. Rigid piping needs to be cut, threaded and welded to make alterations. Flexible tubing can simply be bent into new shapes and positions with much less effort. Sections can be added or removed rapidly with simple clamp or compression fittings. This facilitates quicker changeovers and redesigns to extract new products.

Space Saving Design
The tight bends and curves possible with flexible tubing allow extraction setups to fit into smaller spaces. Extraction often involves complex networks of pipes, tubes, and vessels. Flexible tubes can snake tightly around equipment, through small openings, and between close quarters. Rigid pipes take up more room and create more obstacles. Flexible tubing allows compact extraction setups that maximize use of limited floor space.

Cost Reduction
While stainless steel flex tubing itself may have a higher per foot cost than basic rigid pipe, the overall installed cost is often much lower with flexible tubing. The simplicity of making connections without welding or threading saves significantly on installation labor. Modifications, additions, and repairs are also far less costly in material and labor when using flex tubing. This cost reduction increases over the life of an extraction system.

Reduced Contamination
Rigid metal piping requires welding, soldering, sealants and thread tape at the many connection joints. This introduces contaminants and risks material separation from tubing interiors into extractions. Flexible metal tubing has far fewer joints, and those use simple clamp or compression seals. This minimizes contamination threats and improves extraction purity.

Added Mobility
Flexible tubing allows extracted liquids or gases to be moved and redirected quickly to storage vessels, processing stations or equipment. This provides flexibility to alter extraction pathways and mobility to service multiple collection points. Rigid piping forces all movements to be piped directly with no ability to move or manipulate tubing runs.

Long lasting
Quality flexible stainless steel tubing can have a very long service life under extraction conditions. It is unaffected by corrosion or buildup problems that degrade rigid pipes over time. Flexible tubing also better handles vibration, thermal expansion, and pressure fluctuations that stress and fatigue rigid metal. This durability reduces maintenance needs.

Better Visual Inspections
The smooth interior of quality flexible tubing allows visual inspection of flow. Rigid pipes have burrs, pits, low spots and threads that obstruct view of extracts. The ability to visually watch extraction flow enables early detection of inconsistencies or problems. This allows proactive adjustments to prevent contamination or losses.

Resistance to Clogging
Solids, crystals, or debris in extractions can jam rigid tubes easier than flexible tubing with no seams or threads inside. Solid buildups are also harder to clear from rigid piping. Flexible tubing avoids low spots, pits and obstacles where clogs start. The flexing action can also help prevent and clear obstructions.

Environmental Protection
Leaks of hazardous extraction materials from damaged rigid piping during pressure surges or failures can cause environmental releases. Flexible tubing is less prone to cracks and ruptures that lead to spills or soil contamination. This provides protection for the surrounding environment.

Compliance with Standards
Using flexible tubing for extractions that meets testing standards from organizations like ASTM provides assurance the tubing is designed and produced for safe application. This protects facilities from risks of non-compliant off-brand flexible tubing failures. Proper training in flex tubing standards ensures compliant, lasting extractive systems.

In summary, stainless steel and bronze flexible metal tubing provides many tangible benefits compared to traditional rigid piping in extraction processes. The improved safety, lower costs, ease of modifications, compactness, purity, and durability make flexible tubing an essential component for efficient, high-volume extraction operations. With proper design and installation, flex tubing enables extractors to create robust systems that maximize production and minimize risks.