Gertrude Stein famously wrote “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose,” but where the food and beverage industry is concerned, a hose is not a hose is not a hose is not a hose. With such a broad range of applications in the industry – from dairies to distilleries to grain silos – a wide variety of hoses have been developed to answer various requirements.
“Trelleborg has been offering hoses to this industry for more than 25 years, and some of our earliest products are still in the catalog,” says Christine Dhiersat, Product Manager. “Development begins with the end users,” she says. “We try to connect their necessary requirements – say, high temperatures or
resistance to fats or increased flexibility. Then we start thinking about what rubber solutions could be the best fit.”
Olivier Libes, Marketing & Product Development Manager, says that initially Trelleborg tried to fulfill those requirements through its existing product range. “But there were special cases, applications that required either flexibility or environmental controls or security,” he says. “So the whole range of hoses has been designed to address such needs. We use the best rubber compound, tube, cover and construction for the application.” The list of considerations for a hose can
be long, even beyond hygiene. For example, fats and oils can cause a rubber compound to deteriorate, reducing the elasticity of a hose. The hoses must be able to withstand various cleaning processes, including the use of steam and chemicals such as nitric acid. Lighter hoses make handling easier for workers and create a safer work environment. High temperatures, of more than 80 degrees Celsius, age hoses faster.
Different applications require different hoses. For the dairy industry, where everything must be kept extremely clean, Trelleborg has developed blue covers to prevent the hoses from leaving black marks on the floor.
The Vinitrell hose (above), with its red, nonstick, surface is optimized for use in wine making.