In industries where sanitary conditions are paramount, even the tiniest amount of bacteria can foul up entire operations. Compromised products, manufacturing downtime, and expensive cleanups are the unfortunate results. The dairy, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and personal care industries know this issue all too well.
Hose couplings are designed to keep connections secure. Under many circumstances, you wouldn’t want a hose to suddenly detach from its connection. But sometimes you do. And that’s where a breakaway coupling comes in.
For people who live in rural areas without access to a pressurized fire hydrant system, dry hydrants can be a lifesaver—literally. A dry hydrant allows firefighters to tap a reliable water source like a lake, pond, or stream—to fight a fire without using a traditional fire hydrant.
To put it plainly, quick disconnect couplings make your job easier. They are a fast and easy way to join pneumatic and fluid transfer lines by simplifying connections/disconnections and preventing air or fluid leakage. Pneumatic quick disconnects are used primarily to change between various tools, connecting the power source (compressor) to the tool. The system consists of two parts: the coupler (the female part) and the plug (the male part). Pneumatic couplings typically have a valve in the female half that shuts off the air supply automatically as soon as it is disconnected from a component ensuring the system stays pressurized.
Ah, but things aren’t quite that simple. Before using a quick disconnect system, there are a few questions you must address first: How do you identify the various types of pneumatic quick disconnect profiles? And how do you choose the correct quick disconnect coupling for the job at hand?
On February 7, 1904, a fire was reported in the John Hurston Building on West German Street just west of downtown Baltimore. As the fire progressed to neighboring buildings, fire companies from as far away as Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia, PA arrived to help fight the blaze. But the firefighters from these other cities couldn’t use their equipment: The threads on their hoses didn’t match the threads on Baltimore’s hydrants. By the time the fire had died out, more than 70 city blocks and 1,500 buildings lay in ruin.
The thing about infrastructure is that most people don’t think about it unless it’s not working properly. When a bridge is closed or a roadway is under construction, if a water main bursts or a train is delayed, that’s when infrastructure gets your attention.
If there’s one potential mishap on your work site or plant that’s particularly damaging--but easy to avoid--it’s an improperly crimped hose. Ensuring a properly coupled hose assembly is critical to providing an effective fluid-handling solution. Making an error measuring hose dimensions or incorrectly choosing the ferrule or sleeve will result in lost time and money. Worst-case scenarios result in injury to workers or environmental damage when a hose assembly fails as a result of being incorrectly crimped.
When it’s critically important to keep a gas or liquid inside a system, consider a bellows seal valve. Bellows seal valves incorporate a cylindrical metal tube that expands and contracts like an accordion to create a hermetically sealed closure in a valve stem. The bellows get compressed when the valve is in the open position and expands when the valve is closed. Because the bellows expand and contract as the valve is operated, and because it is welded to the stem and bonnet, there is no leak path for the gas or liquid to escape.
If you’ve ever been on a worksite where a pressurized air hose suddenly becomes disconnected or a hose failure occurs, it’s not something you want to experience again. The quick exhaust of air causes the hose assembly to whip around violently, creating a potentially dangerous situation for all those around, not to mention the possibility of damaging equipment.
When using a portable air compressor on a work site, what component should (almost) always be part of the job? The answer is a safety check valve (SCV), properly installed between the compressor and the hose. In fact, if your air hose has an inside diameter of more than a ½ inch, OSHA requires an SCV to be installed at the source of the air supply to shut off the air automatically in case of hose failure. (If a check valve is not being used, OSHA requires a safety cable, such as Dixon’s King™ safety cable, to be attached to the hose.) But selecting the right safety check valve is an important but often times confusing task. There are many factors that play into that decision: air pressure, tool flow rate, compressor flow rate, the size of your hose, and the length of your hose, among them. Here’s a quick guide to helping make that decision an easier one.