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Thread: Polycarbonate vs. nylon spiles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Northern Michigan

    Default Polycarbonate vs. nylon spiles

    I have been using polycarbonate spiles for the past three years, but am considering to switching to a different spile that is made of nylon. Is there any disadvantage of using nylon spiles over polycarbonate? Is nylon more prone to breaking when installing or removing the spiles? Is one type better than the other for sealing in the tap hole?
    16' X 24' Sugarhouse
    2' X 6' Leader Inferno Arch with Revolution Raised-Flue Pans, Smoky Lake preheater and hood
    Deer Run Maple gas-powered 250 RO
    WesFab 7" filter press
    Kubota 1100 RTV with tracks and 125 gallon tank for transporting sap
    600+ taps on gravity and vacuum
    Very supportive wife who is the best coworker

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT


    In general, polycarbonate spouts tend to "stick" in the tree better than nylon, resulting in a lower tendency to heave and need to be reseated in the taphole. This is likely due to less moisture absorption from the air and the tree into polycarbonate compared to nylon. Polycarbonate can be a bit more brittle in terms of the substance, but a lot depends upon the particular spout design, so it is more variable than just the composition of the spout. Under certain conditions and designs, nylon can be brittle also.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Verona, NY


    try a different polycarbonate spout. you will miss the ease of finding hollow trees/backed out spiles, and they seal much better. have had excellent luck with the 1st gen lapierre elbow spouts, none leaking down the tree and they hold tubing quite well.
    4000 taps on vacuum, just trying to get a little better every year.

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