Description guide for plastic tubing: 1st outside diameter - 2nd wall thickness | M = metres, mm = millimetres
Black plastic tube is manufactured from rigid external grade PVC and is suitable for general purpose applications such as modelling, crafts, packaging, flags, conduit and the construction of simple frames and structures. The main dimension of our black plastic tube is the outside diameter rather than the inside diameter. Request samples if you need to check suitability.
The difference between a plastic tube and a plastic pipe
There is an important but often misunderstood difference between tube and pipe, which we explain in our blog. The main difference is how the profiles are manufactured and measured.
For pipes, the inside diameter (ID) is of primary importance as it defines the capacity of the pipe. Whereas, for tubes the outside diameter (OD) is more important. Due to the manufacturing process, it is very difficult to achieve both a precise ID and OD. Due to the natural flow of the raw material either the ID or the OD can be consistent, but not both.
Plastic pipe and plastic tube are both hollow cylinders, but they are not identical. Basically, pipe uses the inside measurement and tube uses the outside measurement.
How do we measure our plastic tubing?
At MKM Extrusions we measure our plastic tubing by specifying two measurements, the outside diameter and the wall thickness.
If you have a requirement for a specific internal diameter for a plastic tube then please get in touch and our Production Manager will determine whether your specification can be achieved, taking into account the variation of the wall thickness which is a natural part of the extrusion process.
What type of pvc do we use for our plastic tubing?
As with all our stock range of extruded profiles we offer our plastic tubing in an external grade rigid PVC. This means the tubes can be used outside as well as inside. Rigid plastic tubing has a rigidity rather like a ruler although some of the smaller sizes will flex over a 3 metre length.
We offer some sizes in a flexible PVC. Flexible PVC tubing is suitable for internal rather than external applications.
Rigid or flexible PVC tubes?
An alternative to hard plastic tube is flexible plastic tube, and we offer both types in a PCV material. The PVC used for the flexible tubes is much softer than for the rigid tubes and the product is provided in coils rather than 3 metre lengths. Each pack contains 3 x 25 metre coils.
A good way to explain the difference between rigid PVC and flexible PVC is that rigid PVC tubing is more like a ruler whereas flexible PVC tubing is coiled and can be put around your waist like a belt.
If you are not sure which type of plastic tubing you need then you are welcome to get in touch to request samples which we will post to you using Royal Mail.
Plastic tubing shapes
Although plastic tubing is usually round, some applications require a different shape. We offer a large range of square plastic tubes and also some rectangular plastic tubes. If you require PVC tube that is a different shape, such as oval or triangular, we also manufacture custom plastic extrusions. This would incur tooling costs and is for production runs with an average of 2000 metres, depending on the size of the profile.
What can our plastic tubes be used for?
Our plastic tubing is often used for general purpose applications such as modelling, crafts, packaging, flags, conduit, display applications, and the construction of simple frames and structures.
If you need to transport liquids and gases or for applications involving pressure, then plastic pipe is more suitable and we suggest you contact a pipe specialist.
Where to buy plastic tubing
At MKM Extrusions we manufacture as well as supply plastic tubing. We make all our extruded profiles in our UK factory and just sell direct, we don’t have any suppliers or distributors.
For rigid tubes there are 25 x 3 metre lengths in each pack. For flexible tube there are 3 x 25 metre coils in each pack. Just put the required number of packs into the basket and follow the checkout process, your plastic tube will be delivered to you by a carrier company.
The above prices are net of VAT and Delivery, which will be shown in the Shopping Basket