Edmonton Valve & Fitting Blog

Weekly posts for northern and central Alberta engineers, plant operators, and buyers.

Be Flexible: Hose Is The Best Choice For Many Power Applications

by Katie Reid, on Wed, Nov 28, 2018 @ 10:11 AM

With no bending, welding or fitting required, hose saves a bundle on labour costs


flexbile hose

Hoses can manage an abundance of applications because of the wide variety of available materials and configurations. Download Swagelok's "Be Flexible - Hose is the Best Choice for Many Power Applications" PDF below.

Hose in Power PDF


Flexible hose may be one of the most under-used components in a power plant. With the latest advances in hose technology, you can use hose in many places historically limited to tubing or pipe.

Swagelok hose is available in custom lengths up to 100 feet, in diameters 2 inches and under, and with a wide variety of end connections. With the proper selection of material options, hoses are completely dependable across a wide range of pressures and temperatures.

The principal benefit of hose is easy installation and easy replacement of adjoining components like valves. It’s just a lot easier to work with hose than with rigid tubing or hard pipe because there is no bending, welding, or fitting. As a result, you will save a lot on labour costs.

Hose is an excellent choice for these common applications in a power plant:

  • Compressed and instrument air applications
  • Connections to compressors, pumps, or other devices that cause vibration
  • Connections to pneumatic actuators on large control valves
  • Chemical tote offloading equipment
  • Hydraulic and lube oil applications subject to vibration
  • Pressurized gas delivery from tanks and cylinders
  • Sample analysis systems that draw fluid from process lines
  • Natural gas, diesel, or liquid fuel handling applications

What's in a hose?

Typically, hoses consist of a core, reinforcement, covers, and end connections. Core materials may be metal, fluoropolymer, thermoplastic, or rubber. Many power plant applications employ stainless steel cores, which offer corrosion resistance and high-temperature compatibility – up to 850˚F (454˚C).

Reinforcement layers – often stainless steel woven braid – improve pressure containment and flexibility. With stainless steel braid, hoses available from Swagelok can manage pressures up to 6000 psi!

In power plants, a silicone cover is often added in high-temperature applications to greatly reduce the likelihood of burns on contact.

Hoses can be fitted to a wide range of end connections, including tube adapters, tube fittings, VCR metal gasket face seal fittings, VCO O-ring face seal fittings, swivel fittings, NPT pipe threads, pre-swaged nuts and ferrules, tube butt welds, flanges, Kwik-Clamps, cam and groove, tube stubs, and more.

When to use a hose?

In a power plant there are many places where hose pays for itself very quickly:

• Connections Requiring Complex Tube Bending. Tube bending is not difficult, but it does require some tools and training. If your technicians do not have tube-bending skills, consider hose. Sometimes a replacement part does not have the same dimensions as the original, and the original section of tubing or pipe does not quite align with the new connections. You can sidestep a difficult or frustrating situation like this with hose.

• Applications with Severe Vibration. Hose can manage vibration stress better than tubing, especially when high pressures are in play. In a high-vibration application, a run of hose can dampen vibration between the source and the rest of the tubing assembly. It's important to note that not all hoses are suited for high vibration, so correct selection is critical. An Edmonton Valve hose specialist can help you select the right hose based on your application.

• Temporary Connections. Hose is an excellent choice for water sampling, chemical sampling for analysis, or for offloading chemicals from totes. It bypasses alignment issues associated with rigid pipe or tubing, and it can attach with a cam-lock or quick-connect.

• Moving Parts. Pneumatic actuators on some large control valves move up and down and therefore require a flexible connection to the compressed air source. There are many other such applications where you need to allow for some movement or flexing, and hose is your best or only choice.

• Parts Requiring Frequent Replacement or Servicing. In applications requiring frequent maintenance, tubing or hose may be appropriate, depending on the circumstances. Both can connect by way of Swagelok tube fittings, which can be disassembled and reassembled with the turn of a wrench. Gas turbine inspections, for example, require frequent assembly and reassembly of components. Metal hose makes this easier, enabling quick access for maintenance personnel.

We have an illustrated PDF brochure with more detail on how hose can enhance your performance and reduce maintenance. Or if you have any further questions about fluid systems, call Edmonton Valve and Fitting at 780-437-0640 or contact us by clicking the "Message Us" below.

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Topics:HosesFittings

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