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Does The Length of an Air Hose Affect Pressure Output?

An air hose is the name of a device that is used to send air to a type of product like an air compressor or air tool. There are a number of different uses for air hoses, including with scuba diving equipment, though it is often commonly associated with motor vehicles. 

An air hose in a motor vehicle helps to ensure the engine is fed the amount of air that it requires in order to be able to run in the correct manner. One question that many people have however is whether or not the pressure output of an air hose is affected by its length?

Length and pressure of air hoses

Compressed air that flows through an air line, be it a rubber hose, copper pipe, black iron pipe or PVC hose, will inevitably encounter some kind of resistance when the air flows along the air line’s inner surface, which results in the compressed air flow being slowed at the edges. 

When the compressed air rubs against the walls of an air hose, it results in the creation of turbulence, which can be of particular significance if the hose is a lengthy one that has to cover a long distance. 

This turbulence will have an even bigger influence on the flow of air with the longer it is, resulting in compressed air flow loss and a resultant pressure drop where the air leaves the air hose and moves to the air tool. 

You can see the amount of pressure drop that is occurring by reading the tank’s air gauge, and then attaching the end of the hose to the air gauge that is connected to a coupler. The pressure loss will either be greater or lesser depending on the smoothness of the inner surface of the air hose. 

How to know the length of an air hose

It can be more difficult than many people may realise to tell how long an air hose actually is. The hose’s outside diameter is not actually a good way to tell the length of an air hose, as different manufacturers make products to different standards and their applications may come with a wide array of cladding and differing wall thicknesses. 

In order to really identify the length you will need to measure the inner diameter of the air hose, which reflects its actual size. 

This means that while it is indeed possible to buy just one 50 metre hose and have it reach everything you could possibly want it to, it would nonetheless be inadvisable to do so as, even aside from it undoubtedly being both very bulky and very heavy, it would also lose even more air pressure while en route. 

When buying an air hose from RS Components or other popular retailers,  it is important to try and strike the right balance between the hose’s manoeuvrability and the absolute minimum pressure loss that you will be able to get away with. 

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