Hydraulic systems are ubiquitous in the highly industrialized society of today. World War II spurred the development of hydraulic machinery for military applications and this further opened the door to the production of an array of high-powered machines based on hydraulic technology.
Hydraulic systems use a variety of hoses, fittings and adapters, with different sealing methods and thread forms. Hydraulic hoses are high-pressure synthetic rubber hoses that transmit hydraulic fluid within hydraulic systems. Hydraulic hoses are made of three basic parts; an inner tube carries the fluid, a sheath made of braided wire or spiral wound wire provides the reinforcement and a protective outer layer protects against weather and abrasion. Hydraulic hose fittings come in two varieties viz. permanent and reusable. Permanent hydraulic fittings are widely used in the fluid power industry as they can be easily and quickly attached with the help of crimping and swaging equipment. Reusable hydraulic fittings are out of favor because they are exorbitantly priced.
Hydraulic fittings are one of the most important constituents of a hydraulic system. They connect the hoses to pumps, valves and other components. As hydraulic fittings are made of diverse material such as stainless steel, brass and plastic, they are imbued with a wide array of capabilities. Most hydraulic fittings comprise a male and female component that join together to form a connection. These connections direct the flow of hydraulic fluid, prevent leaks, allow easy repairs and replacement of worn-out parts, and maintain pressure within a conductor. Most hydraulic fittings have pressure and temperature ratings as well as size and dimension standards in accordance with established global norms.
Types of Hydraulic Fittings
There are different types of hydraulic fittings. JIC fittings come under the ambit of flared hydraulic fittings as they can only be used in conjunction with a tube or female fitting with a 37˚ flare. A JIC fitting does a wonderful job at sealing tubing with thin or medium-thick walls. Flare-less fittings negate the flares that are found on JIC fittings; the tip of the fitting has an acorn-like shape that allows it to settle easily into the end of the tube, making the sealing process easy and simple. O-Ring Face Seal fittings (ORFS fittings) have gained immense popularity due to their leak-proof nature.
The installation of a hydraulic system is a complicated job. Crimping is a common method for assembling hoses and fittings. The crimp specifications are first checked for specific hose and fitting, and a crimping machine is then adjusted to the appropriate crimping diameter setting. The fitting is thereafter lubricated and put at the end of the hose, and into the crimping machine. A proper identification of the threads in a connection is of paramount importance, given the fact that connections from one standard often seem to thread into another standard port and create safety issues. Moreover, many fittings are customized and may not work with all hoses.
To conclude, limitless possibilities are enshrined in the world of hydraulic systems and forces.