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Flexible metal pipes

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Flexible metal pipes

Flexible metal tubes are widely used in industry and construction. In hydraulic engineering, besides the typical corrugated surface pipes, there are reinforced, braided hoses. Flexible steel pipes are also used in electrical engineering to run cables and wires. They provide excellent mechanical protection, preventing damage by crushing or impacts. They are particularly popular in industry, especially where the discharge of static electricity is important and plastic pipes cannot be used.

Flexible metallic pipes in electrical installations

Internal electrical installations are usually flush mounted. It is a good and cheap way of leading wires. However, there are situations, in which a much better solution is to use luminaires, which provide very good protection for wires and cables against harmful environmental conditions. The second significant advantage of pipes intended for leading single wires as well as whole bundles of them is an easy possibility of exchanging a wire and leading it along a different route. It is enough to pull the cable out of the pipe and put it into another one, for example running in the opposite direction.

Taking into account the type of material used for production, pipes used in electrical engineering for leading cables and wires can be divided into

  • smooth and corrugated plastic pipes,

  • flexible metal pipes.

The latter are used wherever the properties of steel shielding are important, such as non-collecting of static electricity and high impact strength and resistance to crushing. Metal hoses, on the other hand, do not provide any electrical insulation because they are conductive elements.

Flexible metallic tubes - Key parameters

Depending on the technology used by a given manufacturer, and often within the same company depending only on the cross-section, flexible steel pipe is either seamlessly formed or formed from galvanized steel strips welded lengthwise using dedicated tools.

The corrugated shape and the material's susceptibility to deflection are responsible for their flexibility and resistance to mechanical trauma and compression. Flexible metal (steel) hoses are manufactured in two basic types taking into account the shape of their surface - corrugated and spiral. In electrical engineering, transversely corrugated tubes of various corrugation profiles are used, depending on the desired parameters of the shield. A larger profile with smaller distances between the waves is more flexible, but less resistant to compression than a smaller profile with small distances between the waves, which in turn has less flexibility.

Regardless of the profile, as a rule steel pipes provide high mechanical resistance due to the material of manufacture. For example, for a corrugated hose with an inner diameter of 20 mm and a standard profile, the crushing and breaking mechanical strength is 1250 N, while the impact strength is 6 J.

Flexible metallic hoses - advantages

Flexible metallic hoses are used in industry, utility installations and fire protection. They are used as flexible connections to compensate for the effects of motion, vibration and thermal expansion, properly prepared they are suitable for the transmission of gases and liquids in pressurized and vacuum systems. Their range of application is very wide, and electrical engineering is only a narrow section of the possibilities of steel pipes. In electrical installations steel hoses are used as covers for wires and cables because of their parameters, among which the most important are:

  • mechanical durability and high impact and crush resistance,

  • ability to dissipate electrostatic charges (in contrast to plastics, metal does not accumulate electrostatic charges),

  • non-flammability,

  • flexibility, which makes it possible to lead wires without using connectors, etc.

  • high resistance to abrasion.