How To Identify Hydraulic Fitting Orientation

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Hydraulic hoses can be assembled in a vast array of configurations and angles; many of these configurations involve two bent hoses. You’ll never be able to find the right fittings for a hose assembly like that if you don’t know how to find their orientation. (Making sure the hoses are oriented to each other will reduce stress from twisting.)

So, here’s what you need to know.

What Is Fitting Orientation and How, Do I Find It?

The simple part: fitting orientation is simply the degree at which two angled fittings are turned in relation to each other. This is done by measuring the degrees of the angles in relation to each other. Easy, right?

Keep in mind, when measuring angles, there are two ways to look at it. To be clear, both are right, but, it’s important to remain consistent – once you choose a method you need to stick with it.

The difference between the two methods is simple:

  • In method 1, you will consider the angle closest to you as being at zero degrees by point the fitting straight down to what would be the 6:00 position on a clock.
  • In method 2, you will consider the angle furthest from you as being at zero degrees by placing the fitting in the 6 o’clock position. From there you will measure the degree of the opposite angle going in a clockwise direction.


Orientation vs. Overall Length

Now that we know the orientation of the two angles, we need to determine if that orientation is acceptable for the length of the hose.

To do this we need to determine the orientation angle tolerance for the overall length (OAL).

According to SAE, the orientation angle tolerance for OAL 24” should be ±3°. For OAL over 24” the orientation angle tolerance should be ±5°.

The shorter the hose, the more accurate your angle measurement needs to be. Knowing the fitting orientation and measuring within orientation angle tolerance is incredibly important when constructing a hose assembly.

If the angle of the hose is not correct the life of the entire assembly will be greatly reduced. It can also diminish the performance of the assembly as well, which of course, we want to avoid.


The Risk of Not Finding the Orientation

As mentioned above, not finding the correct orientation can lead to early failure of the entire assembly, – but it can also be much worse than that.

When a hose is bent beyond its tolerance and/or is not oriented to a corresponding angled fitting, it can lead to twisting, bursting or flattening of the hose. Which, again, we want to avoid.

When a burst occurs on the outside of a bend, you will experience diminished flow and possible leaking. When the hose becomes flattened, it will react like a kink in the line. The flow will become diminished if not stop completely.

This can lead to a complete system failure, resulting in costly repairs and a lengthy down time. The importance of understanding your hydraulic hose assembly cannot be stressed enough.

From hose length and fitting orientation to chemical compatibility and materials, knowing the ins and outs of your hose assembly can make or break the performance quality of your equipment.