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Polyurethane Tubing (Fre-thane® Tubing)

Polyurethane was invented in 1937 by German chemist, Friedrich Bayer. His first fibers, named Perlon U, gained popularity during World War II as a replacement for rubber. Its first commercial application was as a thread to make lightweight, stretchable fabric, spandex.*

Polyurethane is comprised of two basic materials, isocyanate and polyol. Since Bayer's invention, polyurethane polymers have been improved with various additives to enhance its qualities and make it more resistant to heat and light.

There are two general classes of polyurethane and both are commonly found in the market: ether-base and ester-base. Chemically, these are made from two different polyol alcohols that cause similar, but different reactions in the isocyanate. From the user’s standpoint, the ester-based polymer is less expensive however it degrades when exposed to moisture. Because of this, we manufacture our Fre-Thane® polyurethane tubing using the ether-based material. Using urethane tubing reduces the chances of deterioration due to contamination or brittleness.

Fre-thane Polyurethane Tubing

Freelin-Wade's Fre-Thane has a high resistance to abrasion while being highly flexible and kink resistant. Its most notable quality though is its "memory." Fre-Thane will stretch and flex but always return to its original shape.

Freelin-Wade began manufacturing polyurethane and urethane tubing in 1980 and it remains our core product today. It is available in 28 in-stock colors and a virtually infinite number of color variations. Fre-Thane is Freelin-Wade’s most versatile product, with more options and variations available than with any other tubing.

* Portions of this information came from www.madehow.com

Fre-thane Polyurethane Tubing Features:


  • Extremely flexible with excellent memory.
  • Kink & abrasion resistant.
  • Low gas permeability, extractables and compression set.
  • Resistant to chemicals, water, fuel, oil and fungus.
  • Transparent and opaque colors.

Contact us to learn more about our polyurethane and urethane tubing.