The safety of any hose assembly is always in the back of everyone’s mind. The thought of the hose breaking is troubling, not to mention extremely dangerous.
Improving the safety of the hose assembly is actually easier to do than you might think, thanks to two words: quick coupling.
Believe it or not, a quick coupling connection can improve the safety of both hydraulic and pneumatic hose assemblies, especially if you have to repeatedly connect and disconnect the lines.
What Exactly Is A Quick Coupling?
We have all seen these connectors before, but let’s break down how they really work.
Most quick coupling fittings feature a male end, or the plug end, that fits into the female, or socket end. This connection creates a tight seal that prevents leaks and spontaneous break aways.
A quick coupling fitting is usually fitted with a sleeve that helps strengthen the connection:
- The one-way sleeve allows you to use a tool for a quick breakaway when the fitting has been clamp mounted.
- The two-way sleeve gives you the ability to disconnect it one handed. Simply twisting and pulling the two ends will break the connection.
Types Of Quick Couplings
There a quite a few different types of couplings, so let’s take a look at some of the most common.
Flat Face Design
A flat face coupling comes in a couple different designs:
They are good for eliminating any spaces for fluid or air to rest, which reduces the chance for leakage or a buildup of pressure with nowhere to go. The sleeve feature locks into place, which greatly decreases the chance of unintended disconnections.
A non-latching coupling is used most often in applications where change-outs occur regularly. Non-latching couplings are dry-break or non-spill type couplings that allow for a quick change out without the risk of fluid spilling or leaking out.
Ball Bearing Design
Ball bearing couplings are a very common design because they are easy to connect and disconnect with just one hand. The balls are spring loaded which allows for a quick and solid connection.
The bayonet coupling actually features two plugs that are connected by turning the coupling by a quarter turn to push the plug into the socket. (Turn the opposite way to disengage.)
Five Things You Need To Know
- When you are choosing a quick coupling for your hose assembly, it is important to note that the lowest rated assembly component becomes the rating for the entire assembly. So if your coupling has a psi rating that is lower than the psi rating of the assembly, the completed assembly rating drops to the psi of the coupling.
- When using quick couplings on a high-pressure hydraulic system, it is necessary to use sealant beyond the typical thread seal or non-stick tape seal. A good rule of thumb to follow is the higher the pressure the stronger the seal. With quick couplings, you can use stronger seals that are compatible with your media from plastics to metals including copper.
- When a coupling fails it should begin with leaks in specific locations. This alerts you to the coupling failure and allows for replacement before disaster strikes.
- Key locks or color coding will help avoid cross connection issues. This is particularly helpful when having to do regular change outs.
- Whenever you are making changes to your hose assembly, you should always check the compatibility of the media against the materials used in the construction of the assembly components.
Working to ensure the safety of your hose assembly should include a frequent inspection schedule and the keeping of a safety log to help you keep track of the performance level of each component.
Improving the safety of your hose assembly will not only create a safer environment, but can also help improve performance as well. Using the right quick coupling for your application can also make the manipulation of your hose assembly easier and faster than ever before.