Picking the Right End-Use Connections
End-use connectors like hoses, fittings, and couplings are important for maintaining air pressure for any tools or equipment you may have connected. Due to the nature of their being attached, unattached, and moved around, they can be a very common source of pressure loss. It’s a good idea not to overlook these components and remember to keep a few things in mind when selecting them.
For longer distances tubing or pipe is always preferred but for shorter distance, such as from the system to a tool, rubber or plastic hose is often better due to its flexibility. There are flexible metal hoses available as well but those are best suited for harsher environments. Breakage and weakening of the material can happen over time so make sure to check hoses regularly for any faults. When installing the hose should not be too small for the air being fed into it – it can restrict the flow and cause major drops in pressure. As a rule you should use a hose slightly larger than the port to make sure the air enters your equipment at the correct rate.
For installations with a more permanent piece of equipment at end-use tubing made of metal (not plastic) is the medium of choice due to its strength and durability. Copper is the most common form of tubing and works well but can have issues if exposed to vibration. Regardless of the kind of metal it is important that any tubing be clamped down if exposed to significant vibration to ensure there the tubing does not crack or break over time.
When buying quick disconnect couplings be sure to keep quality in mind. Cheaper versions can often end up costing you more in the long term due to replacement cost, loss of work time, and potential damage to other equipment. Always get high quality couplings with an emphasis on durability and performance.
Your end-use applications will benefit from the right connections so make sure you choose wisely. Of course, you could also get the help of a professional installer. If you’re looking to have questions answered on connections or would like to consult with a compressed air expert about your system contact us at CED today.