A chain is only as reliable as its weakest link. We believe this venerable saying applies to a hydraulics power chain, but where are these vulnerable system assets? Hoses and tubes are manufactured from bleeding-edge engineering plastics and wear-resistant alloys, so we need to look elsewhere. Logically, hydraulic connectors loosen or even break down over time, so let’s tighten our focus on these essential tube fittings.
Designing for Leak free reliability
Today’s hydraulic fixtures are anchored by superior hydraulic connectors. The couplings incorporate improved joins, which offsets vibration. Installation practices are also much improved, so leaks are now mostly a thing of the past, which is fortunate since these systems work on greater pressures than ever before. Factors that affect coupling integrity include the following:
Tips for Selecting Connectors
Connector Partnerships – Understand the port end and tube end relationship when installing a new connector. The configuration should be fairly self-explanatory, as tube end components generally connect to hoses, while the port end hooks into valves, pumps, and other similar fixtures.
Metallurgical Fabrication – Favour high-grade materials and their associated forming techniques. Stainless steel and brass couplings are both well-suited here, but material factors must be evaluated. Also, add forming advantages by favouring single-form forged products over brazed two-piece styles.
Elastomeric Material Seals – Adopt modified polymer seals that are mechanically capable and chemically accomplished. The rubberized seals exhibit little plastic deformation but provide a secure fastening aid that prevents pollutant ingress while simultaneously incorporating an absolute fluid escape barrier.
Know Coupling Behavior – Leak free reliability relies on several key coupling components. A metal-to-metal contact area bridges the connector and eliminates potential pressure transit zones. Installation error is a common issue here, so check and double-check that coupling. Align angled connectors and mechanically fasten the fixture so that vibrations don’t loosen the threaded section. Finally, remember three section evaluation procedures. Look at port alignment, nut tightening, and seal integrity.
Use standard hydraulic connectors. The 37° flare coupling champions this coupling class for a good reason, but some imported equipment may favour an alternative standard. Leak free reliability begins with design, but it doesn’t conclude until the equipment is properly approved as a comprehensively sealed operating system, for this is where the majority of fastener-deteriorating hazards come to life.
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