Overview of Plastic Tube Manufacturing

Freelin-Wade has created a comprehensive guide detailing the processes, techniques, applications and potential benefits of polyurethane and polyethylene tubing products. In this page, we will cover the following aspects of poly tubing:

What Are The Different Types of Poly Tubing

What is Poly Tubing?

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-base polymer is less expensive. However, it degrades when exposed to moisture. Because of this, we manufacture our Fre-Thane® polyurethane tubing using the Ether-base material.  Poly tubing can be custom-made in a wide variety of colors, sizes and hardness values for multiple industrial applications. Freelin-wade offers 28 in-stock colors of poly tubing as well as a virtually infinite number of custom color variations.

Polyethylene tubing is generally classified between high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) tubing options. The LDPE is more flexible.  Freelin-Wade offers an even better grade of LDPE, called LLDPE.  The Linear low-density material offers superior environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR) and can prolong the service life of the tubing. 
Freelin-Wade offers a comprehensive selection of poly tubing with polyurethane tubing and polyethylene tubing being our most popular products.

Poly Tube Manufacturing Process

How is Poly Tubing Made?

The resin material is fed from a hopper into the extruder and heated in various zones as the screw mechanism in the extruder barrel gradually moves the material through the barrel. After the barrel reaches a certain PSI and the melt becomes uniform, the material enters a die and is shaped into a tube.  Watch our video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE_KTLlrdMA   or https://www.freelin-wade.com/videos.htm  Characteristics and manufacturing of polyurethane tubing

Polyurethane Tubing

Polyurethane (PUR) tubing provides excellent flexibility and resists the kinds of damage that can lead to dangerous leaks. Polyurethane is manufactured by combining diisocyanatos and polyols to form a polymer material similar to plastic or rubber. Polyurethane is kink and abrasion-resistant and can be colored or transparent to help differentiate tubing and assist with line tracing and monitoring liquid levels. If flexibility, chemical and puncture-resistance are required for your application, then polyurethane is the optimal tubing product for you.

Fre-Thane® Polyurethane Pneumatic Tubing

Fre-Thane® polyurethane tubing is our most versatile, customizable and popular product. While all our polyurethane tubing is abrasion and kink-resistant, our Fre-Thane® will stretch and bend but always return to its original shape. This excellent memory, low gas permeability, and chemical resistance makes Fre-Thane® our core product. Our inventory of Fre-Thane® tubing products—ranging from more flexible Fre-Thane® 70A to harder and more durable Fre-Thane® 95A.  Depending on the grade, our polyurethane tube may meet USPVI, NSF61 and FDA compliances. 

Polyethylene Tubing

Polyethylene, or PE tubing, is an FDA-approved, durable, lightweight, and corrosion-resistant plastic that can be used in a wide variety of applications. PE tubing is safe to use with chemicals, gases, and fluids and remains one of the most common PE tubing materials in the world. While polyethylene is not as flexible as polyurethane, it still maintains excellent crack and puncture resistance. Freelin-Wade can provide both LLDPE tubing and Liquiflex POE tubing in different densities, molecular weights, and crystallinity. This FDA-compliant tubing is ideal for manufacturers in the food and beverage industry.
PE tubing applications and features

EVA-Lined Polyethylene Tubing

Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (EVA) lined tubing is popular for its increased strength and flexibility and is a favorite for use in commercial and retail beverage OEMs, breweries and additional beverage lines. Freelin-Wade’s LLLDPE EVA Lined Beverage tubing is constructed with NSF51, NSF18, and FDA-compliant EVA liner and is compatible with standard push-to-connect fittings or compression style fittings. Tubing is available from 100ft to 1000ft depending on tube size and application requirement.

LLDPE Polyethylene Tubing

Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) tubing provides added flexibility, strength and conformability than standard polyethylene tubing. Pneumatic LLDPE’s most significant advantage over standard polyethylene is its environmental crack resistance, as LLDPE tubing is hyper-resistant to chemical exposure, aging and additional environmental factors. LLDPE tubing is ASTM D D-1693 ESCR tested to withstand over 500 hours of exposure to IGEPAL solution. Freelin-Wade’s linear low density polyethylene tubing is approved by the FDA for use with food and beverage, medical, and pharmaceutical applications.

Liquiflex-POE Polyethylene Tubing

Liquiflex is Freelin-Wade’s recently developed polyolefin elastomer tube designed for air or fluid transfer in low-pressure applications. Liquiflex matches the chemical resistant capabilities of LLDPE tubing and provides added flexibility compared to standard PE tubing. Liquiflex will spring back to its original shape after being bent and resists most chemicals. Liquiflex is a cost-effective, FDA-compliant solution to water purification systems, pharmaceutical applications and additional hygienic fluid transfer applications.

Specialty Poly Tubing

Freelin-Wade offers highly versatile PU tubing in a range of sizes, colors, configurations and hardness levels including:

Polyurethane pneumatic tubing

PUR tubing provides excellent flexibility and can be customized to meet your specific application needs. Freelin-wade offers 28 in-stock colors, as well as a virtually infinite number of custom color variations on our large-scale polyurethane tubing options. For added memory and increased chemical and abrasion resistance, our Fre-Thane® is our core PUR tubing product. The higher the number on the scale, the harder the plastic is for that product. For example, our Fre-Thane® 95A tubing is harder and more durable than our Fre-Thane® 90A tubing

Static dissipative tubing

In certain applications, poly tubing is required to protect circuit boards and other electronic components from electrostatic volts that can shorten the lifespan of your devices. Freelin-Wade’s static dissipative ESD 90A tubing dissipates electrostatic charges with no chemical additive and is available In a wide range of standard and metric sizes. Our special compound of proprietary polyurethane contains no conductive fillers and is non-corrosive to electronic leads and components.
Specialty multi-colored ribbon tubing options

Multi-colored ribbon tubing

Our 95A Multi-Colored Ribbon Polyurethane Tubing (MCR) is available in bonded lengths of two, four, six or eight. Our exclusive, proprietary manufacturing technique creates a permanent, leak-free seal between the multi-colored lengths of Fre-Thane® polyurethane tubing. The multi-colored design allows for quick and easy identification while eliminating the needs for jacketing, zip ties or other costly and time-consuming organization methods. Our ribbon tubing exhibits the same memory, flexibility, and high kink and abrasion resistance of our standard 95A Fre-Thane tubing.

MCR Ribbon coils

Our ribbon coils are made using our proprietary Fre-Thane MCR tubing and maintain excellent flexibility and memory with impressive abrasion and kink-resistance. Freelin-Wade is stocked on highly versatile and customizable multi-colored tubing for applications requiring two or more lines. Our unique manufacturing capabilities allow us to bond up to 20 individual tubes, mix and match colors, sizes, and additional configurations.
Flexible spiral coil hoses features

Reinforced Polyurethane hoses

Oftentimes, reinforced hoses are required for high pressure applications. Our reinforced PUR flexible hoses do not crack over time and offer a less bulky alternative to our PVC hoses. PUR flexible hoses are constructed for working pressures up to 230 psi (depending on size) and maintain flexibility in subzero temperatures.  Custom hoses are available in various sizes, lengths and colors. Our reinforced PUR hoses include:

Flexible coiled hoses

Freelin-Wade’s reinforced polyurethane flexible spiral coiled hoses are engrained with an inner braid mesh for added structural support. These kink-resistant spiral hoses prevent unwanted kinks and twists for liquid transfer and pneumatic applications. Our Flexeel® line of spiral coiled hoses are easier to handle than standard polyurethane spiral hose options, withstand even subzero conditions, are resistant to chemicals, water, fuel, oi, fungus, and can be customized to meet most industry-specific requirements.

Poly Tubing Applications & Industries Served

Freelin-Wade utilizes nearly 40 years of expertise and a variety of FDA, USPVI, NSF51 and/or NSF61 compliant resins to design and prototype customized poly tubing for a variety of industries.

Packaging Equipment And Robotics

Freelin-Wade offers both straight and retractable coils of flexible Polyurethane plastic tubing for pick and place machinery in over 23 colors. Plastic tubing is ideal for delivering compressed air in mechanical equipment, in addition to transferring fluids in cleaning and dispensing machinery. Plastic jacketing and bonded tubing options are available for creating organized tubing systems and can help protect wires and cables from moisture, dust and other contaminants. Specific subcategories include:

Food and Beverage

Our FDA, ROHS and NSF-compliant poly tubing options provide a wide selection of high-quality, food-safe tubing for most food and beverage tubing uses. Specific uses include food and beverage dispensing equipment, beer and liquor dispensing and air line dispensing equipment. Freelin-Wade manufactures food-grade housing in our Polyethylene LLDPE, Polyurethane, EVA Lined Beverage Tubing and Poly-vinyl Chloride (PVC) to meet the pressure and temperature-specific requirements of you applications.

Medical Tubing

PVC tubing for medical application needs
Because medical tubing is required to meet specific industry standards across a range of applications, Freelin-Wade is fully stocked on a large variety of poly tubing for various non-invasive medical and laboratory applications. We offer standard and coiled options for use in pneumatic or fluid applications, and can customized tubing based on your bend radius, pressure rating, temperature range requirements and more. Popular plastic tubing options include our Polyurethane Tubing for air beds, pressure cuffs, blood pressure cuffs, laboratory equipment and our BPA, latex and phthalate-free, PVC Tubing.


Agricultural tubing is frequently used for operating and cleaning agricultural equipment such as spraying herbicides, fertilizers, water and chemicals. Freelin-Wade has plastic tubing in a variety of sizes including coiled and bonded tubing options with different fittings to securely attach to your existing machinery. Popular agricultural hosing options include:

Water Purification

We offer high-performance poly tubing that meet NSF 51 and NSF 61 compliance for your ground water testing and water purification systems. Our Polyethylene LLDPE, Liquiflex®, Polyethylene LLDPE and Poly-vinyl Chloride (PVC) tubing  options all offer unique benefits to meet your water testing and purification requirements.

Automotive and Automation

Durable and flexible polyurethane tubing improves organization and safety in manual automotive manufacturing and repair facilities. Our most popular product, the Fre-Thane® polyurethane tubing is available for order in a wide selection of colors and durometers for cat tracks and other auto equipment manufacturing applications.
Splatter resistant tubing for all applications

Chemical Transfers

Finding effective chemical tubing option for your application is imperative for maintaining safety and ensuring effective fluid transfer. Agricultural machinery, oil & gas drilling products, semi-conductor processing products and pool & spa products are all frequent uses for our chemical-resistant poly tubing. Poly-vinyl Chloride (PVC) and
Polyethylene LLDPE are versatile tubing options that can be used in transferring specific liquid chemicals.


Freelin-Wade manufactures poly tubing options for forcing compressed air to valves, actuators, or other pneumatic components. Our custom poly tubing selection can be customized to meet specific pressure and temperature requirements. Because pneumatic applications exist in several industries, our main product offerings is:

Benefits of Industrial Poly Tubing

Crack & Leak Resistance

Because poly tubing isn’t impacted by several external factors including temperature and pressure, it makes for a highly flexible solution to most plastic tubing needs. Varying levels of flexibility—or hardness value—are available depending on application requirements.


Poly tubing is ink, abrasion and puncture-resistant and withstands the additional kinds of damage that can lead to dangerous leaks. The ductility of poly tubing allows for the tubing to stretch when put under pressure prevents cracking and stress breaking in applications where repeated pressure is required.

Color Coded

Our polyurethane is available in 28 in-stock colors to make organization more efficient than standard tube grouping systems. Multi-colored tubes and coils can be bonded together for differentiating several materials withing the same tube or coil grouping. Additionally, Freeling-Wade’s transparent tubing options allow for quick and effective liquid measurement.
Custom color tubing labels and designs

Safe & Eco-Friendly

Poly tubing is easier to produce than standard plastic tubing and can be recycled multiple times. Our phthalate-free, non-reinforced PVC tubing prevents harmful toxins into the material flowing through the tubes. This creates a safer option for medical and dental tubing as our PVC tubing is resistant to bacteria and other pathogens, which makes it ideal for food and beverage, medical and pharmaceutical applications. Freelin-Wade also utilizes mechanical and electronic filtering systems to remove oil particulates from smoke generated during production operations before exhausting to the atmosphere.

Corrosion Resistant

Due to its strength and durability, polyethylene is often used to create plastic bottles as well as corrosion-resistant pipes. Freelin-Wade’s corrosion-resistant polyethylene tubing is resistant to rust and corrosion, making it ideal for use in a wide range of liquid, gas and fluid transfer applications. 

Excellent Memory

In order to eliminate unwanted kinks that can prevent proper fluid transfer and create cracks, our standard poly tubing and poly tubing coils exhibit outstanding memory that make it the ideal choice for projects that require repeated bending or straightening of tubes and toils.

Custom Poly Tubing Options

By customizing the material, size, and profile, plastic tubes become more efficient, cost-effective, and versatile. Freelin-Wade has the design expertise and rapid prototyping options required to find a solution to your poly tubing needs.

Color Poly Tubing Customization

Customized colored plastic tubing is a simple way to add organization to a machine or create a more user-friendly experience. Choose from a selection of 28 standard stock colors and 4 different color styles including Opaque, Transparent, Neon and Dental.
Custom plastic poly tubing size options

Poly Tubing Size Customization

Wall thickness and material determine the rigidity and weight of your poly tubing products. Freelin-Wade has ready-made plastic tubing size options ranging from 1/8” O.D. with 0.066” I.D. to a maximum of 1” outside diameter.

Custom Poly Coiling

Coiled tubing allows for your poly tubing to stretch, retract and ultimately save space without kinking. We can coil tubing and customize the straight ends of your coil for tubing in a variety of lengths and sizes.

Poly Tube Bonding

Bonding multiple pieces of straight or coiled plastic tubing together reduces organizational issues in applications that require multiple tubes. Permanent, Strippable and Skip/Partial tube bonding options are available with Freelin-Wade. Bonded plastic tubes are used by a wide range of industries including medical, dental, fluid power and robotics.

Poly Tube Bundling

Tube Bundling helps save space and reduce installation times for individual poly tubing systems. We offer PVC Bundled Tubing, Expandable Webbing and spiral wraps for different bundling styles.

Poly Tube Cutting

Freelin-Wade uses digital cutting equipment to precisely cut your plastic tubes in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Our cut tubing is measured prior to shipment and can be cut to lengths of any size.

Formed Poly Tubing

Formed plastic tubing is available for when tubing needs to retain its shape in piping or wiring applications. Our formed 2-D configurations create a uniform, easy-to-maintain appearance.
Coil tubing custom shapes and profiles available

Extruded Poly Tubing

We can custom make extruded plastic tubing from a wide range of materials in addition to our 4,000 in-stock extruded plastic tubing options. Our Fre-Thane® extruded PU tubing has low gas permeability with extreme flexibility and our extruded FDA approved PE tubing is an economical extruded plastic tubing option.

Poly Tubing Packaging Options

Plastic packaging, reels and dispenser boxes are an easy way to organize short lengths of tubing or tubing that will later be cut to size. Freelin-Wade offers various packaging solutions for long lengths of 100 feet or more.

Custom Printing

Custom printing is an ideal solution to aid in labeling poly tubing and equipment for easy part identification. Some capabilities include:
  • Part numbers
  • Labeling substances
  • Fluid measurements
  • Company name/contact information

Plastic Tubing Shapes and Profiles

Plastic profiles can be created for high-volume production runs and are frequently industry specific. Poly tubing profiles can be round, oval, or custom-shaped tubes and feature a series of cross-sectional channels that run the entire length of the tube.

Poly Tubing Prototypes

We have experience creating hundreds of prototypes every month with no minimum order requirement. Different variations, chemical resistance specifications and specialty products are all aspects of prototyping that we can customize.

Contact Us Today for High Performance Wholesale Poly Tubing

If your application requires poly tubing, make Freelin-Wade your first call, or contact us for more information on any of our poly tubing products.