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For what is compression coupling used?
Easy installation and the availability of fittings in various shapes and sizes make this coupling popular in many industries. Compression coupling gets routinely used in gas applications and water systems. Typically, these couplings are brass, cast iron, stainless steel, or copper. The core mechanism is to use a clamping force for a leak-proof seal.
You will frequently find a 10mm compression fitting in applications like shower units and sinks. The non-manipulative style (Type A) is ideal for plumbing. On the other hand, a manipulative compression joint (Type B) gets employed in gas systems. It requires a flaring tool for sealing.
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Can compression tube fittings be used with ammonia or hydrogen?
Hydrogen fuel and ammonia-based applications mandate some specific requirements. The connections must be capable of withstanding high pressures and temperatures without any leaks to prevent the risk of explosion. Compression tube fittings made of stainless steel may be suitable for transmitting ammonia and hydrogen. This material does not degrade upon exposure.
Most manufacturers recommend caution while selecting the media to be transmitted. Materials like brass, copper, zinc and cast iron are unsuitable for hydrogen and anhydrous ammonia. It is also crucial that the gas compression fitting you choose conform to the corresponding industry standard.
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How to prevent compression fittings from leaking
The likeliest reason for leakage is improper use, subjecting the connection to excessive movement. Over-tightening the compression adapter or using tape can also induce a leak. The best prevention is to use these fittings for stationary setups. The ends of a male and female compression fitting should fit snugly without undue stress.
A straightforward approach in case of a leak is to retighten the nut. It will eliminate thread corrosion. If this solution fails, you need a replacement. Use pliers to grasp the male compression fitting and unscrew the nut. Then, loosen the ring, cutting through with a hacksaw if necessary. Finally, install the new nut and ring.
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Advantages & disadvantages of using compression fittings
The most significant benefit is the comfort of installation. A compression fitting ferrule provides a leak-proof seal but does not need special tools, equipment, or soldering. This fitting is also inexpensive compared to other options. These connections can handle high temperatures and pressures and boast superior vibration- resistance.
On the flip side, a hydraulic compression fitting is not as sturdy as a soldered alternative. It is also harder to bend unless you use a thinner-walled tube. In the latter case, you will face limitations in the maximum pressure the connection can handle.
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Is tighter better for compression fittings?
The common assumption is that a tighter connection will prevent future leaks. However, a compression fitting ferrule works differently, and too much stress is not better in this case. These fittings use a line contact between the ring and the tube to build a perfect seal. It extends around the entire circumference of the ferrule for a reliable and long-lasting fitting.
If you tighten male compression tube fittings too much, the ferrule will likely get deformed and only produce a surface-level contact. This type of connection is not long-lasting and will probably result in leaks.
How much psi can a compression fitting handle?
These fittings work perfectly for high-pressure applications such as bottled CO2 and aerospace. Some metric compression fittings can operate at pressures exceeding 10,000 psi. If you use a stainless steel version, it can often handle 3,000 to 5,000 psi.
The rating will also depend on the material, compact build, and quality of the ferrule seal. It is advisable to use sturdy designs for high-pressure applications to ramp up the reliability of the seal. A one-component compression stop end might be unable to resist excessive pressure. But models with heat-treated ferrules and industry-grade materials can be robust enough for adverse conditions.
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