Cleaning & Sterilization

One of the most critical aspects to take into consideration during the selection of a hose for food and beverage applications is indeed the cleaning and sterilization process. This can be made in two different methods: with a chemical solution (CIP: cleaning-in-place) or with the use of high temperature, normally steam (SIP: sterilization-in-place).


In particular, the following media are normally used in the CIP cleaning:

  • Basic solutions (for example caustic soda) used to remove fat and protein parts;
  • Acid solutions (for example phosphoric acid) for the elimination of mineral deposits;
  • Oxidizing acids or other oxidizing products (nitric acid, peracetic acid, chlorine-based solution, hydrogen peroxide) to remove the bacterial load.

The sterilization SIP is also performed to remove the bacterial load.


Hose choice & sterilization processes

Cleaning and sterilization procedures are considered among the major causes of material ageing: the chemical corrosion and the mechanical stress due to the high temperature determine a progressive deterioration of the physical-mechanical properties of the rubber. For this reason, the procedures of cleaning and sterilization are considered critical parameters for the choice of the most appropriate hose for the application. In fact, in most cases, the food product conveyed is less problematic than the cleaning process, which is chemically more aggressive and can significantly affect the lifetime of the hose.

Normally, companies operating in the food and beverage industry are used to working with a validated cleaning and sterilization procedures, that better fits their specific production requirements. The aim of this document is only to provide some guidelines for the choice of the most suitable polymer for the application.


Technical data about cleaning processes

Below the most common situations:

Cleaning agent Rubber type Concentration Temperature
Hot water EPDM, Butyl, NBR, PFA Silicone, PTFE   Up to 95°C
TPE   Up to 90°C
NR, NR/SBR, TPU   Up to 50°C
Steam NR/SBR, NR   100°C max 10’
NBR, EPDM, Butyl   130°C max 30’
SILICONE   135°C max 30’
UPE   100°C max 20’
PFA/PTFE   130°C 30’
TPU   Not suitable
TPE   120°C 10’
Caustic Soda NBR, NR, NR/SBR, Silicone, TPU 1% 80°C
EPDM, Butyl, TPE, UPE 3% 80°C
PFA, PTFE 3% 80°C
Nitric/Phosphoric/Peracetic Acid NR, NR/SBR, NBR, TPU 1% Room temperature, followed by water cleaning at room temperature
EPDM, Butyl, TPE, Silicone, UPE 1% Ambient temperature
0.5% 80°C
PFA/PTFE 3% 80°C
Chloridric Acid, Hypochlorite NR, NR/SBR, NBR, TPU 200 ppm Room temperature, followed by water cleaning at room temperature
EPDM, Butyl, TPE, Silicone, UPE 200 ppm 80°C max 20’
PFA/PTFE 200 ppm 80°C max 30’

Further considerations

It is important to underline the fact that the frequency of cleaning, the increase in percentage of the chemical solution, or a longer exposure to the process of sanitation can significantly reduce the longevity of the hose.

For a proper maintenance, we recommend to do a periodic inspection of the hose in order to check the physical-mechanical conditions of materials. For further information please contact our technical department.

 Please download the guidelines for cleaning and sterilization.