What Goes into a Swagelok Hose, and How to Treat Them Well
by Katie Dennis, on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 @ 06:07 AM
The more you know about proper installation and care, the longer they'll last
Edmonton Valve offers custom sized hoses to meet the specific requirements of your job. Need to know more about our hose offerings? Download our Hose & Flexible Tubing Quicklook.
Hoses may not be the most glamorous parts of a fluid system, but they can be crucial parts. People who take hoses for granted and treat them poorly end up having to buy replacements sooner than they should. Knowing what goes into a hose will help you understand how they perform, and to maximize their useful life.
Measure for measure
How long should a hose be? Most hoses are sold by overall length, which is measured from the tip of one end connection to the tip of the other end connection. But there's also a measurement called "live length," which means only the flexible length between the end connections. In some applications that's an important distinction.
You never want a hose that's exactly the length between the two places where it has to connect. A hose needs some extra room to flex and bend, especially if it's attached to machinery that moves.
Whatever length you need, Edmonton Valve & Fitting can supply it. Even custom lengths can be supplied quickly.
Another important measurement is the bend radius. That's the minimum radius you can bend a hose before it kinks. Some types of hose can't bounce back once they have kinked, so it's important to know the limits ahead of time.
Depending on the application, it might also be important to know the maximum outside diameter (O.D.). That's the largest diameter of the entire assembly, not just the hose itself. So check the dimensions of the end connectors too.
Inside diameters are generally given in a nominal size, not the true size. If the inside diameter (I.D.) is critical, be sure to check the literature for that particular hose.
While hose is designed to bend, some installations can cause more strain than necessary. A double bend, for instance, causes more strain than a simple U bend. The same is true for bends in more than one plane of motion, especially with moving machinery. In those cases, it's better to use two hoses with a fixed block in the middle, so each hose moves in a single plane.
Again, length matters. Make sure the hose is long enough to start out straight from the end connection rather than instantly starting into a bend.
Yet another kind of stress on a hose is twisting. That often happens on installation when there's an NPT connection on each end. Using swivel connections can solve that problem. Push-on connections are a good option for low-pressure applications such as air lines.
A hose shouldn't be treated like a piece of pipe. We've seen some people even put a pair of vice grip pliers right on the O.D. of a hose while installing it. The solution to that problem is simple: Don't do it.
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