# Can I pass liquid through fiber optic strands?

#### JJoll

Joined May 7, 2013
49
Hi,
I am a university research student and for my project I need very thin microtubes. Similarly to the ones that you can find in this website: https://www.raumedic.com/technologies/extrusion/micro-tubing/

I need a microtubing with inner diameter of approximately 0.5mm and outer diameter of less than 0.8mm. I need to pass some sort of liquid through these tubes and I was just wondering if I could use fiber optics strands for this purpose? I have not used fiber optics strands before but since they are hollow I thought it is possible to pass liquids through them, is it going to work?

thanks

#### ian field

Joined Oct 27, 2012
6,543
Hi,
I am a university research student and for my project I need very thin microtubes. Similarly to the ones that you can find in this website: https://www.raumedic.com/technologies/extrusion/micro-tubing/

I need a microtubing with inner diameter of approximately 0.5mm and outer diameter of less than 0.8mm. I need to pass some sort of liquid through these tubes and I was just wondering if I could use fiber optics strands for this purpose? I have not used fiber optics strands before but since they are hollow I thought it is possible to pass liquids through them, is it going to work?

thanks
Never heard of hollow strand glass fibers - but you might get some capilliary action in the spaces between the strands.

#### SLK001

Joined Nov 29, 2011
1,508
Fiber optic strands are NOT hollow. Where did you hear that they were?

#### crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
23,361
Fiber optic strands may be referred to as a "light pipe" but that pipe is not hollow.
The light reflects off the inner surfaces of the strand at very near 100% efficiency due to total internal reflection, allowing the light to travel down the strand and around corners as if it were a pipe.

#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,912
There are lots of real tubing options with ID's of 0.5 mm. Can you help us narrow the search? Depending on the flow rate you need, viscosity of your liquid, and distance the pressure required can get quite high.

John

Joined Apr 30, 2011
1,568

#### shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
6,985
The TS probably thought the fibers were hollow because they start out a glass tube in the first steps of making them.

#### JJoll

Joined May 7, 2013
49
There are lots of real tubing options with ID's of 0.5 mm. Can you help us narrow the search? Depending on the flow rate you need, viscosity of your liquid, and distance the pressure required can get quite high.

John
Flow rate wont matter in my application. It could be slow or fast. I am trying to pump/force regular ink through these tubes. The viscosity of black ink according to this chart (http://www.viscopedia.com/viscosity-tables/substances/ink/) is roughly 5.7mPA.s. The travel distance (tube length) shouldn't be more than 0.5 meter. Also I want the OD to be no more than 0.8-0.9mm. It would be great if you could direct me to a couple of vendors that sell such tubbings. I found a couple of vendors that supply medical tubings with such a low ID but they are very expensive. They quoted me around $50/meter. Thread Starter #### JJoll Joined May 7, 2013 49 Thread Starter #### JJoll Joined May 7, 2013 49 The TS probably thought the fibers were hollow because they start out a glass tube in the first steps of making them. I have never seen or worked withfiber optics and for some reason I always thought they are hollow inside #### hp1729 Joined Nov 23, 2015 2,304 Fiber optic strands are NOT hollow. Where did you hear that they were? Oh now, be kind. OP is an engineering student and you know anything they can imagine must be possible, like warp drives, beaming matter or the big bang theory. #### jpanhalt Joined Jan 18, 2008 7,912 Flow rate wont matter in my application. It could be slow or fast. I am trying to pump/force regular ink through these tubes. The viscosity of black ink according to this chart (http://www.viscopedia.com/viscosity-tables/substances/ink/) is roughly 5.7mPA.s. The travel distance (tube length) shouldn't be more than 0.5 meter. Also I want the OD to be no more than 0.8-0.9mm. It would be great if you could direct me to a couple of vendors that sell such tubbings. I found a couple of vendors that supply medical tubings with such a low ID but they are very expensive. They quoted me around$50/meter.
What do you want the tubing made from? Some of the many options: glass, PVC, modified PVC, Nylon, various stainless steels, silicone rubber, newer Teflon-like plastics, Teflon-lined stainless, various nickel alloys (e.g Iconel). The list is really quit long. If 0.5 mm is your maximum ID, what is your minimum ID?

John

#### Alec_t

Joined Sep 17, 2013
10,372

Joined Apr 30, 2011
1,568

#### JJoll

Joined May 7, 2013
49
What do you want the tubing made from? Some of the many options: glass, PVC, modified PVC, Nylon, various stainless steels, silicone rubber, newer Teflon-like plastics, Teflon-lined stainless, various nickel alloys (e.g Iconel). The list is really quit long. If 0.5 mm is your maximum ID, what is your minimum ID?

John
the material type wont matter to me as long as it is flexible. I was personally looking for silicone rubber or any type of flexible plastic. The Id needs to be somewhere between 0.4mm to 0.7mm. less than 0.4 is not really ideal. thanks

#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
7,912
Do you have any remaining questions now that you know where to find tubing with your specifications?

John