A hose is a type of cylindrical tubing that is flexible, mainly being used for the transportation of fluids. While often conflated with tubes and pipes, hoses differ due to their lack of rigidity, ease of transportation, and designs that often incorporate layers of materials. When hoses are implemented within various assemblies and applications, fittings will be used to connect runs of hoses to each other, or to attach them to various equipment and components.
Depending on the operation and assembly at hand, the fittings that are used to connect hoses can be made from various materials. As a result, one may work with a supplier to find an optimal hose fitting solution for their needs. Generally, most fittings will be designed for either hydraulic or pneumatic systems, making it important that one determines the characteristics of their application before making a purchasing decision.
Hydraulic applications are those that center around the transportation of water, chemicals, and other liquid fluids. To prevent any fluids from leaking out of a hose, the fittings will be designed with proper sealants. Additionally, the materials used for constructing the hose and its connections will all be ones that avoid rusting and chemical corrosion when faced with various fluids. Pneumatic applications, on the other hand, deal with the transportation of gases. Similar to their hydraulic counterparts, pneumatic hose fitting components will be designed with tight seals and corrosion resistant materials.
Once the type of system has been narrowed down, the next step is to find the type of hose fitting that best serves the particular needs of the application. Ball and sleeve fittings are able to connect the outer sleeve of the hose to an inner fitting, and the sleeve may be adjusted for establishing connections. If the hose is frequently connected and disconnected, the push-to-connect design of such fittings can be quite beneficial. To make a more robust connection, compression fittings can be used. With such a fitting, two hoses will be connected by compressing them against a compression nut and ferrule. While primarily serving tubing and pipes, compression fittings can still serve hoses as well.
For low pressure applications where ample sealing is not a necessity, the barbed fitting is useful. With such components, hoses are attached with a barbed tube that features a tapered stub and ridges that are inserted into the hose. For more heavy-duty fluid transfer applications, such as for firefighting or sewage pumping, the cam-lock fitting is a good choice. With such components, the fitting is inserted into the hose, and tabs will fold down after insertion, locking the fitting in place. Flare fittings are another option for high-pressure operations, such components featuring a tapered or coned end that can be installed within a hose with the use of tools. Due to their installation method, flare fittings create a deep seal and are able to withstand a wide range of operating parameters.
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