That’s a Tricky Question…
A question we are frequently asked by our customers is “Can I use a metal hose for food-related applications?” It’s a simple question, but the answer isn’t always so simple.
The quick answer is no, metal hose generally cannot be used for the transfer of food-grade materials. This has nothing to do with the capabilities of the manufacturer or the quality of materials used in the hose. On the contrary, while the steel used may indeed be “food-grade,” the corrugations in the hose can potentially trap food media and make it difficult to clean the hose to the proper standard. Instead, you typically see PTFE hoses in these types of applications. The only exception to this would be if the media is at a temperature high enough to kill off any bacteria, which may allow for a metal hose to be used in some cases.
However, just because metal hose generally cannot be used to transfer food-grade materials does not mean that there are not applications for metal hose elsewhere in production! You just have to know where to look for them…
Metal Hose for Food Industry Applications
Clean in Place Systems
A key component of food production that requires the use of metal hose is clean-in-place (CIP) systems. Clean-in-place systems serve as a way to clean and sanitize the internal surface of a piping system as part of the routine cleaning of the production line or when production is being changed over to a different product. These systems utilize steam and chemicals (such as sodium hydroxide) to clean the piping system, which can be hard on any non-metal hoses that are used in the system. Instead, non-metal hoses are removed to be cleaned separately and metal hoses are installed in their place during the cleaning process. These metal hoses are better suited to handle the high heat and caustic cleaning solution running through the system, making metal hose an optimal solution for this application. Continue reading Can I Use a Metal Hose for Food Applications?