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Using Pex-Al-Pex Compressed Air & Pex-Al-Pex Fittings

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Pex-Al-Pex may not be a very well-known material, especially when compared to other compressed air pipe materials. Yet, they’re approved for use in compressed air systems along with their fittings and may be a desirable choice for your system.

This article will provide you with all the relevant information needed to better understand Pex-Al-Pex, whether it is suitable for you and a number of places where you can purchase the tubing, fitting and tools online!

Table of Contents

What is Pex-Al-Pex?

Let’s start with breaking down this material. Pex-Al-Pex, or PAP, gets it’s name from consisting of two outer layers of cross linked polyethylene plastic (PEX) sandwiching a middle layer of aluminium (AL).

The material takes great advantages of the chemical and corrosion resistance properties of the plastic layers whilst adding the pressure abilities of metal by coating the aluminium in between them. This results in a pipe material that is bendable, flexible, non-corroding, resistant to most oils, acids and alkalis.

Pex-Al-Pex Key Features

One of the benefits PAP carries over metals like copper or black iron, which are both commonly used on compressed air systems, is that you need far fewer fittings. Fewer fittings will save you a good amount of money. It’s key features are:

  • Easy Joint Assembly
  • Flexibility
  • Immune to Frost Cracking

These are very important features that allow PAP to perform sufficiently for it’s desired projects.

Easy Joint Assembly

Due to the PAP joints most commonly being made with either crimp-on-connector rings or compression fittings, the joints are very easy to finish and do not take long at all. They don’t require any soldering like metal joints, unless you’re connecting the PAP lines to current copper supply lines.


PAP allows you to comfortably bend the material using your hands in any direction and the best bit, it will stay in fixed position. This allows you to work around and even through existing frame members and walls. PAP pipes are capable of being bent up to radius’ of around 3 inches without any kinks, meaning you may not require as elbow joints.

Immune to Frost Cracking

PAP piping tends to better at resisting freezing temperatures than most rigid piping. PAP piping will be manufactured to endure five freeze and thaw cycles before any cracking is able to occur.

Reliable Pex-Al-Pex Manufacturers and Sellers Online

If you don’t do your homework on manufacturers and sellers, you can end up with a very long and costly process. It could take you a long time to find the right manufacturer or seller who has the highest-quality products suitable for you.

Reliable Pex-Al-Pex Manufacturers

I have done the best part of the process for you, I have dug through the internet and picked out reputable brands and sellers that you should look out for.

Some of the most common and high-quality Pex-Al-Pex tubing manufacturers include:

  • Apollo
  • Bluefin
  • Everhot
  • Nibco
  • Uponor
  • Viega
  • Watts
  • Zurn

Reliable Pex-Al-Pex Sellers Online

I’ve picked out PexUniverse as a great supplier of PAP tubing. They offer a hose of different sizes ranging from 1/” to 1″ and 150ft to 1000ft in length.

Not only this but a good place to find PAP fittings is also over on the PexUniverse website, here you can find all the appropriate fittings, including plugs, coupling and elbows, that are all made to ASTM F1281 standard and are compatible with all types and brands of PAP tubing made to the same standard.

Another great supplier is over at SupplyHouse, they provide Bluefin and Viega Pex-Al-Pex tubing as well as the necessary tools and compression fittings to create your system.

These are just a couple examples of reputable sellers online and brands to look out for, please conduct your own research as well to ensure these products are suitable for your needs before purchasing! I’ll always recommend seeking professional help if you’re still unsure.

Pex-Al-Pex Available on Amazon

I’ve also picked out some Pex-Al-Pex products available on Amazon for you. We’ll start with the tubing itself!

Pex-Al-Pex Tubing Available on Amazon

Master Pipe sell a 32ft 5/8″ PAP tubing on Amazon, this boasts the desired ability of being able to bend and stay in the way it was bent, and specifically says it is suitable for compressed air up to pressures of 1160 PSI.

The second is Duda Energy pexo12 PAP 1/2″ 320ft roll, suitable for a working pressure of 362 PSI and maximum bursting pressure of 724 PSI. Also available on Amazon in 5/8″, 3/4″ and 1″.

Pex-Al-Pex Fittings Available on Amazon

Duda Energy also sell a number of female and male adapters as well as compression fittings on Amazon. Here is a 1/2″ female npt compression adapter and from there you have a hose of options to change the size and style!

Dynapex provide a 3/4″ brass compression coupling

Pex-Al-Pex Reamer/Chamfer Available on Amazon

Finally, here is a reaming and chamfering tool that can be used on Pex-Al-Pex tubing suitable for 1/2″, 5/8″ and 1″ tubes.

Useful Youtube Demonstrations

I’ve found a few useful youtube videos to help you with your Pex-Al-Pex installations. The first, is a short demonstration on how to use a Pex-Al-Pex chamfering tool.

The second, is a lengthier and very useful demonstration on connecting Pex-Al-Pex pipe with a crimping tool.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can you crimp PEX AL PEX?

Yes, you can crimp pex-al-pex! You just need to ensure the crimp fittings and tools you use are specifically for pex-al-pex and not just pex because the sizing is different. You cannot use pex crimping tools or fittings on pex-al-pex.

Will SharkBite work on PEX AL PEX?

No, unless they are specifically designed for pex-al-pex. SharkBite fittings are compatible with PEX, Copper, CPVC, PE-RT & HDPE but their standard fittings are not listed as being suitable for pex-al-pex.

How to make a PEX AL PEX compression fitting connection?

To do so follow the following 4 simple steps:
1. Cut the pipe with the suitable pex al pex cutters – ensure the cut is clean
2. Ream the pipe to the appropriate size with a pex al pex reamer
3. Install the compression nut over the pipe, followed by the O-ring and then fully insert the main body of the pex al pex compression fitting into the pipe
4. Slide the nut and O-ring towards the fitting and tighten the compression nut with a crescent wrench.

Additional Reading:

If you have any questions regarding the use of Pex-Al-Pex piping or fittings, please leave a comment below with any photos if applicable so that someone can help you!

By Aidan Weeks

A passionate Mechanical Engineer with endless enthusiasm for fluid power - building off the back of over 18 years of high quality contribution and discussion stimulated by Bill Wade here at About Air Compressors. With both practical and theoretical experience in pneumatics and hydraulics, I'm putting my knowledge to work - and working my grey-matter through my research, assistance and publishing work here at About Air Compressors. Feel free to reach out any time! P.S. A HUGE shout out to Doug who really offers such great value to all visitors to About Air Compressors - once again, feeling like I'm standing on the shoulders of GIANTS by getting to work alongside such a great community

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