Hydraulic Hose Fittings Types

Hydraulic Hose Fittings Types

Hydraulic hose fittings form an important interface between parts in a pneumatic or mechanical system. They work to ensure uninterrupted fluid flow within the hydraulic ecosystem.

These connectors are crucial in any mechanical system therefore their application cuts across industries. For instance, they are found in assembly line, manufacturing industry, construction, water and sewerage systems among others.

The fittings are made of different materials, sealing process and come in various sizes and shapes to suit specific needs. Additionally, they also differ in levels of temperature and pressure tolerance.

Whereas some hose fittings ensure continuous flow, other works to impede fluid flow while some can perform both functions.

Types of Hydraulic Hose Fittings

There is a range of fittings you can use with hydraulic hose depending on the use, industry, etc. A deep understanding and knowledge of the different types and the services they offer can guide you when selecting a hydraulic fitting.

Of important to note is that the fittings are identified as either male or female. Usually, the female part holds the male end.

Connection Type Fitting

Hydraulic fittings types are either be crimped or reusable in the way they link to other components.

  • Crimped or Permanent Fittings: They are attached to the hydraulic duct permanently with the aid of a crimpling machine. They are preferred in most industries because they are tamper proof and reliable than reusable fittings. Initially, permanent fittings were only possible in large work stations due to the need of a crimpling machine. Technological advancement has however made it possible to permanently secure hydraulic fittings anywhere with the emergence of a portable crimper device. Crimped fitted hoses are common with fluid power flow connections.
  • Reusable Fittings: Unlike crimped fittings, these ones are replaceable and can be attached without the help of a crimple device. They consist of a socket and nipple and are common with repair and maintenance.

Seal Type Fitting

Aside from nature of fitting connection, three main sealing types exist namely; O-ring, mated and tapered thread. These types of connection ends are significant in achieving a leak free joints for efficient hydraulic function.

· O-Ring Face Seal (ORFS) Fittings

This fitting consists of an external threaded male half that fits into an internal threaded female end and tightened with an O-ring. This connection forms a seal that is secure enough to prevent leakage from high pressure fluid system of approximately 6,000 psi.

O-ring face seals are crucial in areas where leakage prevention is key and can be found in;

  • Pressure flow gauge in chemical plants
  • Off-road heavy vehicles and agricultural equipment
  • Water treatment plants, etc.

Given their tight seal connections, ORFS prevent potential leakages thus extent the longevity of a hydraulic system. They are also relatively affordable, easy to fix and can tolerate various temperature ranges.

· Mated Angle Fitting

This is a type of hose fitting with angled seals that have threads that are either straight or parallel. The female and male fittings join together and form a seal at the angled plane and not from the threads.

This type of fitting is common in plumbing systems or hydraulic networks that require angular connections for proper functionality.

They can also withstand high pressure, vibrations and extreme or fluctuating temperature like JIC-37 degrees and SAE-45 degrees’ fittings.

Some of the industries that are popular with JIC and SAE fittings include agricultural equipment, military, oil and fuel.

· Tapered Threads

In tapered hose fittings, male threads are on the exterior and female threads in the interior part. The two parts come together to form a leak free seal from deformed threads due to intertwining pressure.

The resulting strong metal-to-metal seal can be applied in gas transfer pipes.

This type of fitting is however not recommended in hydraulic systems due to leakage risks.

This type of fitting has to incorporate plumbing tape to achieve a tight seal. The demerit of the tape is a risk of disintegration with time and can spread into the content of the hydraulic network.

Another disadvantage is that the tape can easily by over-torqued during fittings.

· BSP (British Standard Pipe) and NPT (National Pipe Tapered)

BSP is majorly applied in European pipe connection and sealing system. Other parts of the world like South Africa have also adopted this system. The pattern of the threads is round and the male and female parts tightly seal when the mating threads deform.

NPT is an American hose fitting standard that is also sometimes used in Canada. It offers a leak-proof fitting in hydraulic system when male and female join together. Its threads are sharp, equally spaced at 60 degrees’ angle.

These fitting types are not interchangeable due to their unique nature but they can be used in industrial applications, oil industries, etc.

Shape Type Fitting

Straight Fitting
Straight Fitting

As the name suggests, these fittings uncomplicated occur in a linear pattern between a male and female part.

Elbow Fittings

They are common with corner or bent connections designs. They occur in angles of 45 or 90 degrees to aid in change of direction in fluid flow. Elbow fittings are considered flexible than linear hydraulic fittings or where specific angle is required. They are applicable in various industries such as vehicle braking system, aviation, etc.

Tee Fittings

This type of fitting forms a T-like junction in its design. Have three-link points on the female part that encourage fluid to flow in different directions or meet.

Cross Fittings
Cross Fittings

Unlike T-fittings, this one permit fluid flow in four paths or to merge. This fitting design forms a cross-like feature with four male attachment points. Cross fittings are common in multifaceted hydraulic setup.

Flange Fittings

It has a projected surface is known as a ‘flange’.  Another component known as ‘mounting plate’ joins with the flange during fitting. They form a secure and leak proof hydraulic circuit suitable for high pressure applications and vibration forces. Mostly used in construction machinery, military and in heavy hydraulic machines. This is because they are diverse and offer durability and secure seals. Additional types of hydraulic fittings include; quick connect fittings, push-on connect fittings and ferrules fittings.

Quick Connect Fittings

These are fast form of hose fittings that consist of a plug (male) and a socket (female). They establish an enclosure when the internal female part links with the male and form a lock mechanism. They do not require any tools to seal or unseal them hence are simple and easy to use. Quick connect fittings are common with repair and replacement where downtime is critical due to the swiftness in their installation. Some of their uses include agriculture, construction and manufacturing industry.

Push-on Fittings

A push-on form connections by a simple act of pushing hydraulic component into a fitting locking it in place. It is fast and easy to connect and disconnect without any tools. They are commonly available in stainless steel brass materials with a considerable pressure range. Push-on fittings form seal that are leak-free, are reliable and can be found across industries like robotics manufacturing, hydraulic panels, etc.

Ferrules Fittings

These are small cylindrical tubes used in enhancing sealing in compression fittings. They are compressed in the hose and tightened to form a reliable and strong seal. They are mostly made of steel or brass thus common in high-pressure environment.

Material Type Fitting

Plastic Hose Fittings
Plastic Hose Fittings

Plastics fittings are less expensive and can tolerate corrosive fluid. They are however unpopular compared to metal fittings due to their inability to withstand under high pressure and temperature. As a result, they cannot be used in industrial grade applications that require durable, high pressure fittings.

Steel Hose Fittings
Steel Hose Fittings

Steel fittings are made from steel metal that is known for its strength, longevity temperature tolerance. They are common in areas where temperatures can fluctuate between frozen conditions to melting points.

Aluminum Hose Fittings
Aluminum Hose Fittings

Aluminum hose fitting is light in weight and cannot be corroded by abrasive materials. It also offers durable service just like steel though it is seldom used. Aluminum fittings are common in automotive industries due to strength-to-weight balance that they offer.

Stainless Steel Hose Fittings
Stainless Steel Hose Fittings

It is a popular fitting in hydraulic system due to the flexibility that stainless steel material offers. Albeit more expensive than other metal fittings, stainless steel material can be combined carbon, iron, etc. to achieve unique characteristics.

These fittings can withstand very high pressures of about 18,000 psi and extreme temperature ranges approximately -250 degrees Celsius to 650 degrees Celsius. They are also very resistant to abrasion, are more durable and stronger than their counterparts.

These characteristics make them perfect for use in highly corrosive industries such as chemical plants.

Brass Hose Fittings

Brass fittings have a lower temperature and pressure allowance of about 2500psi and -50 degrees Celsius to 200 degrees Celsius respectively. They however satisfy international sealing standards stipulated by ISO, JIS, DIN and SAE making them ideal fittings in less rigorous applications.

Factors to Consider when Selecting Fitting Type

While familiarity with the various types of hose fittings is important, identifying factors that influence the choice of fittings is equally crucial.

Some of those factors are:

  1. Fitting size: accurate size for the fittings and their corresponding component is crucial for perfect sealing. Unmatched sizes can lead to poor sealing that can result in leakages.
  2. Fitting material: There are various materials for different fittings depending on their characteristics. While plastics is corrosive resistant, it can tolerate high pressure and temperatures. Choosing correct fitting material is key element in proper functioning of hydraulic system.
  3. Pressure tolerance: different applications operate within specified pressure ranges. Your fitting should therefore be matched with the pressure rate it can tolerate to avoid system failure and even fluid loss.
  4. Temperature endurance: like pressure, temperature also differ for various applications. Some fittings are made from materials that can tolerate extreme temperature ranges while others can’t. Understanding what temperatures you operate within will guide in selecting the appropriate fittings.
  5. Area of application: some industries require simple fittings while others may need complex or angle-specific fittings. To determine which one works for you, you need to understand your area of application.
  6. Type of connection: There are permanent and reusable types of fitting connections. While permanent offer more secure and efficient seals, reusable come in handy where quick repair and frequent replacements are needed.
  7. Assembly needs: some systems require fittings like push-on fittings therefore, using an alternative fitting type may fail.
  8. Hydraulic fluid type: this is very vital because it influences fitting material type. Therefore, even the fitting type will be impacted.
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