Many university departments and schools are changing from rubber tubing to silicone tubing for the following reasons: rubber tends to split, become brittle or in some cases soft & sticky and hence there is a risk of gas leaks. There is no directive as such to do this, but it is recommended when replacing rubber tubing to replace it with a suitable alternative. The following points should be considered.
- The statements in the SDSs for both LPG and LNG give instructions not to use natural rubber flexible hoses.
- It is important to have a flexible tubing adequate for the function.
- PVC tends to be rigid and has a memory for coiling, which can create a hazard of the Bunsen burner falling over.
- Silicon tubing appears to be a very suitable alternative to rubber tubing for use with Bunsen burners. Although more expensive, it has a much longer life span.
- All tubing should be checked periodically for cracks, hardening and other damage.
Answer edited to include updated SDSs [03/10/2017]:
‘LNG Safety Data Sheet’. 2017. Kleenheat website. https://www.kleenheat.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Safety-Data-Sheet-LNG-.pdf (Accessed September 2017)
‘Propane Safety Data Sheet’. 2017. BOC website. http://www.boc-gas.com.au/en/sheq/msds/index.html. (Accessed September 2017) [Follow the links to ChemAlert and search for propane (LPG)]