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Thanks in large part to Gary at SidewinderComputers.
Gary provided me with a couple of feet of most of the tubing in this review from his rather extensive collection available online.
I also procured a few different types myself that Sidewinder does not carry such as Primoflex and Masterkleer.
The tubing reviewed is pictured below with larger tubing on the left and smaller on the right.
MasterKleer is available from almost any water cooling shop and as far as I've seen, Primoflex is only available from.
Note how the tacky silicone like texture of the Primoflex is a dust magnet.
The colors of the cut cross-sections are indicative of the overal tint of the tubing.
Again note the color of the cut cross-sections which are exagerating the tint of the tubing.
Note the relative thick walls of the Primoflex in middle atlantic state that allows casino gambling picture compared to the others.
Durometer: McMaster has a great description of Durometer hardness and an excellent picture.
Durometer is the international standard for measuring the hardness of rubber, plastic, and most nonmetallic materials.
The hardness of a material is its resistance to surface penetration.
Harder materials have more wear resistance, but they are also less flexible.
In this photo, all three types of tubing have the same dimensions ID and wall thickness but dramatically different durometer ratings.
As you can see with this tight radius, the high durometer R-3400 is able to maintain its shape without kinking while the lesser durometer tubing cannot.
Durometer is something to pay attention to when choosing the right tubing for your application.
In some cases, you can use thinner wall tubing with a higher durometer to maintain the same kink-resistance as a thicker softer tubing.
However, a very stiff composition such as the R-3400 will place a lot more tube torque on your blocks than softer tubing.
Pay attention to any change in hue of the red heat-shrink and the clarity of the letters on the heat-shrink wall.
Note how the Primoflex clear is not really clear.
The Duralene is very clear but has a slight blue tint that turns the heat-shrink color slightly pink.
Both brands of Tygon are similarly clear but the R-1000 does have a slightly yellow hue.
In the next picture, you can see the difference in clarity in the medium sized tubing.
Note that MasterKleer is aptly named as it is the most clear in my observation.
It has absolutely no tint and is very transparent.
However, as many people know, MasterKleer does not stay clear very long.
The others are similar to their larger versions above.
MasterKleer after 6 months in a loop: The smaller tubing samples all exhibit the same clarity attributes of their bigger counterparts.
Bend Radius and Resistance to Kinking Most tubing in this review has a bend radius in the 1.
Since the point at which a tube starts to kink is a very subjective measure, I decided to take another more objective approach and allow you to judge for yourself.
The collection of photos below were all taken in an identical way and then combined in Photoshop for easy comparison.
The testing simply shows how well the various tube samples hold their shape when subjected to barb distances of either 4 or 3 inches.
The test jig is rather simple as shown in the photo below.
An MCW-30 with an appropriate barb is clamped to the bench with the barb centered over the 1" mark on the ruler.
I then adjusted the tube to the 4 or 5 inch mark on the ruler as shown and took a photo of the tube's shape so you can gauge how it behaves with a 3 or 4 inch barb-to-barb distance respectively.
Using these photos and knowing the barb-to-barb distance you have to work with, you can easily assess whether your desired tubing will hold its shape sufficiently to your satisfaction or not.
Note how all the samples don't show any signs of kinking.
All the samples are showing some signs of flattening but are still usable except for the R-1000 which has almost fully kinked due to it's very soft durometer.
This illustrates the importance of wall thickness in bend radius.
None of these samples could avoid kinking with a 3-inch bend so that photo is ommited.
The thin-wall R-3400 is starting to noticably flatten at the apex.
At any rate, all of the tubing in this situation could be used without much restriction.
The thin-wall R-3400 has collapsed comletely at this bend radius.
Here, the Primoflex is looking very good while the others are noticably flattening at the apex.
In fact, it should be noted that the low durometer of the Primoflex also allows it to easily manage bends in multiple planes.
Overall, the best tubing for kink resistance is one which has the thickest walls in proportion to it's diameter with the highest durometer being a second consideration.
I fired off an e-mail to koolance asking a question about what tubing to use with their compression fittings and their response was, "As long as the internal tubing diameter matches the nozzle diameter you will have no problem using any tubing.
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