Quick couplers have many uses in chemical, manufacturing, transport, testing, and other industries. These fittings play an important role in pneumatic and hydraulic applications that require regular connection and disconnection of tubes and hoses.
Small as they may seem, quick couplers are important. If you improperly select quick coupling, this can lead to issues with energy efficiency, productivity, safety, and fluid losses. Whether you want to buy new fittings or to substitute your tube or hose connectors with quick coupling, you must consider several factors.
Here is a guide to help you select the right quick couplers for your industrial applications.
Consider the connection and disconnection mechanism of the quick coupler itself and the end of the hose or tube to ensure proper fit.
Common types of connections include ball and sleeve, push to connect, luer, twist, and cam-lock. With a ball and sleeve coupling, the user simply needs to pull back the female sleeve from the male ball to connect or disconnect the coupler.
Push-to-connect couplings allow you to push either end into the other to connect, while luer fittings require the operator to twist the coupling. Cam-lock couplings come with connectors that fold down to connect the application.
Manufacturers design two types of coupling — those with valves and those without valves. Your choice will depend on an application's pressure requirements. Couplings without valves may not prevent fluid loss during disconnection but will safeguard against pressure loss.
On the other hand, if you cannot tolerate fluid losses but the application can allow some pressure losses, a coupling with valves might be a better choice. Bear in mind that the cost of valved and non-valved couplings varies.
Manufacturers make quick couplings out of different materials. Consider the type of fluid you use in your pneumatic or hydraulic application to determine the appropriate coupling material.
Aluminum is a popular choice because the material is lightweight and corrosion-resistant. Brass couplings are versatile and can withstand different environmental conditions, including low and high-temperature applications and inclement weather.
Cast iron is highly abrasion-resistant and withstands rigorous environments too. For applications requiring high heat conductivity, consider copper couplings.
Other options include steel and plastic. Steel is very durable, resistant to corrosion, and suitable for chemical-based applications. Plastic fittings are comparably less expensive and may be suitable where heat, pressure, and temperature conditions permit.
The size of quick release coupling can have significant implications for equipment efficiency and safety. Consider the airflow requirement and the size of the end of the hose or tube to which you will connect the coupling.
Different applications have specific airflow needs. The smaller the coupling's diameter, the more constricted the airflow rate will be and vice-versa.
Where the size of the tube or hose is concerned, select a quick coupler of a similar number of millimeters or inches. For example, a 1-inch coupling will be suitable for a hose whose diameter measures 1 inch.
The condition in which you use the couplings will affect the fitting's service life. For outdoor uses, select couplings that can withstand weather elements. If you have to expose the tubes or hoses to dusty environments, consider couplers with fewer moving parts to avoid trapping dirt and debris.
The right type of quick coupling will pay for itself in safer operations, lower labor output, and expediency in time-sensitive industrial processes. Be sure to work with a qualified manufacturer to ensure couplers are the right fit and size and are suitable for your specific application.
At KIMS International, we are dedicated to manufacturing affordable yet quality couplers for all types of industries. Get in touch with us today for assistance in finding a quick coupler that meets your needs.