Most pharmaceutical process applications have sanitary hose assemblies somewhere in their systems, such as load cell isolators, portable tank hook ups, CIP jumpers or any one of a dozen other applications. Some specifications are common to most pharmaceutical sanitary hose assemblies. They need to be steam sterilizable or autoclavable. They need to have product contact materials that have been tested to meet USP Class VI requirements. Most hose materials that we deal in meet FDA guidelines, but there are only two that meet the pharmaceutical requirements: Platinum cured silicone and smooth bore PTFE (Teflon). Which one is better? It really depends on your application and what you are trying to accomplish.
It is really a function of your application. The cost differential between the two is not particularly significant. If you get into applications above 100 PSI, the PTFE hoses are probably preferred. If you need something light and flexible (short load cell jumpers are a good example) silicone works great. For constant steam applications we normally recommend conductive PTFE hoses. For a hose assembly that it being handled (connected/ disconnected) constantly, PTFE is probable going to hold up better, but will be heavier. For hoses that are in a constant dynamic state (filling machines come to mind), wire reinforced silicone won’t work. The wire work hardens and eventually snaps. The point of this is that each application is unique. You need to consider several things before specifying the proper hose. Here are the questions we normally ask our clients.