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Hose (Air)

INDEX 

 

1. Air Hoses

 

Air hoses are tubes used to transport gases, compressed air, and light solids within pieces of equipment and industrial plants. Usually made from compressed materials for extra strength and low permeability, air hoses have applications across various industries. CEJN and Coilhose are among the leading manufacturers of air hoses, with a reputation for quality across the major markets.

                                           air hoses

Air hoses are rated for their ability to withstand pressure and temperature stresses. For safe use, an air hose must have temperature and pressure ratings that exceed that of the media it is deployed to transport as well as for the surrounding environment. They must be operated within their stipulated temperature and pressure ratings to ensure a full service life and to minimize ruptures and other forms of malfunction.

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2. Quality Standards for Air Hose Manufacturing

 

As air hoses have to transport volatile and aggressive materials, including compressed air and corrosive gases, air hoses have to conform to the highest quality standards. Even without stringent regulation, manufacturers have to ensure their air hoses are safe to use.

But, depending on each air hose application, manufacturers are required to abide by construction quality standards set by regulatory and certifying bodies in the industries the air hoses will be used. 

Generally, it is expected that air hose manufacturers will uphold their responsibility for making products that ensure the safety of users and the environment, even without the threat of sanction by their regulating authorities.

Different certifying bodies will have their own specific standards and quality expectations, which are guided by the different air hose application demands in those specific industries. Some of the bodies whose quality standards manufacturers have to meet include:

     ●   International Standards Organization (ISO)

     ●   Deutsche Institute fur Normung (DIN)

     ●   Society Of Automotive Engineers (SAE)

        European Norm (EN)

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3. Air Hose Construction Materials  

 

To ensure conformity to all the standards set out by the different regulating bodies, air hose manufacturers use a select range of raw materials in their manufacturing processes. These materials are chosen for their strength, flexibility, and resistance to corrosion. These properties are more pronounced in some materials than others. The materials’ selection is dictated by the quality requirements for the particular air hose application. 

Elastomer Air Hoses

Elastomers are polymers noted for their viscoelasticity properties. They are a synthetic material first created as a cheaper alternative to natural rubber. Air hoses made from elastomer materials are very flexible. They are so flexible and resilient that some can be stretched to twice their length. This makes them a perfect option for low pressure applications and environments where the hose will endure extreme twisting.

Elastomer hoses may not be suitable for high pressure applications, but they have significant resistance to abrasion, mostly because of their remarkable flexibility. Despite their flexibility and abrasion resistance, these air hoses are not the strongest and should not be used for transporting very hot and aggressive media.

Fluoroelastomer Air Hoses

These are high performance elastomer hoses designed for use in challenging environments where hot, pressurized, and aggressive materials are handled, like automotive and chemical applications. These air hoses have noted qualities for reliability, flexibility, low permeation, as well as thermal and chemical resistance.

Fluoroelastomer air hoses will be the ideal choice for rugged applications and environments where the hose may be dragged over rough surfaces. The rubber-like flexibility of these hoses ensures easy handling and storage as they can also be coiled without resistance.

Thermoplastic Air Hoses

These are not the most flexible air hoses, but they offer acceptably low bend radius, which is the angle at which a hose can be bent without damaging it. These air hoses can handle significantly hotter and higher pressure fluids. However, thermoplastic does not have absolute resistance to high temperatures and will deform and even melt if exposed to extreme heat.

Manufacturers are required to specify the minimum bend radius for their hoses so users can gauge if they are safe for use with their particular application. However, where the bend radius is not specified, it should be assumed that it is not lower than 15 times the diameter of the hose.

Metal Air Hoses

It is safe to say there are air hose applications where air hoses made from polymer, plastic, and other combustible materials won’t be suitable. Such applications are where very hot and extremely high pressured fluids are being transported. Depending on the application and metal used in their construction, metal hoses can be flexible or stiff.

There are specific features that determine different air hoses’ suitability for your specific application. You will need to ascertain your special circumstances and the environment in which you will be using your air hose before you start the procurement process. Let’s discuss those special features:

     ●   Flame resistance

If your application environment is particularly susceptible to fires, it will be prudent to choose an air hose with the necessary thermal resistance. Automotive engines are an example of a typical application.     

     ●   Superior strength

Some applications are so challenging that they require air hoses that are robust enough to take strain and still perform to their expected standard. For such applications, reinforced air hoses are best.

     ●   Crush resistance

This property is required for air hose applications where fluid flow interruption can disrupt the smooth operation of a machine or industrial process. These hoses must not collapse or kink so that media flow is not hindered or stopped. Thermoplastic hoses and metal air hoses would be the most appropriate.

     ●   Coiling ability

For ease of transportation, use, and storage, some hoses may be too long that they need to be flexible enough to roll into a coil. This allows the air hose to be reduced to a short length or expanded to a longer length, as the application may require. To be that flexible, it should be accepted that these air hoses may not be the most resilient nor suitable for use with aggressive and pressurized materials.

     ●   Anti-static quality

Hoses that have to handle flammable materials, like gasoline and combustible gases, need to be bonded for conductivity so as to nullify the fire risk caused by static electricity sparks. Otherwise, the force created by fluid flow will result in static electricity sparks that will ignite any flammable substance within reach.

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4. Air Hose Dimensions and Measurements

 

To procure the right air hose for your specific application you have to be familiar with their different sizes. Air hoses are identified by their inner and outer diameter, as well as their length. And different applications will call for different sized air hoses.

Hose Diameter

It is important to know both the inner and outer diameter of your hose as both these measures affect the air hose’s suitability for its application. Inner diameter is the distance across the internal cross section of the hose. Outer diameter is the distance across the external cross section of the hose. An easy way to understand what outer diameter would to be to imagine your hand rolled around the hose as you would when pulling it, and measure that diameter.

You cannot immediately perceive an air hose’s inner diameter by merely looking at it. Besides measuring the outer diameter, you would need to know the thickness of the air hose, including any reinforcement or cover that may be on the air hose to establish a hose inner diameter.

Yet this inner diameter is the probably the most important measure when selecting an air hose. Using an oversized hose will affect the speed of flow for the media being moved, which can cause system malfunction for applications that require the maintenance of specific pressure levels.

Hose Length

This is a measure of an air hose’s maximum reach, or span between its two points of connection. This is perhaps the easiest measure to determine. But it is not always as clear cut because some air hoses are coiled and their length may not be as easy to measure.

An air hose that is too short has obvious implications on its application. To ensure secure connection, the hose will have to be stretched, which may cause it to break. Be sure you have the exact measurements for total length between the two points you intend to connect with the air hose.

But, maybe less apparent, is the possible consequences of using an air hose that’s too long. If the hose is used for compressed air transportation, a longer length will cause a drop in pressure, which will affect the optimal operation of pressure powered equipment.

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5. Air Hose Fittings

                                              air hose fitting

It is important to choose the right air hose for your application. But equally important is ensuring the air hose has the correct accompanying fittings to connect and ensure an airtight seal. Using the wrong type and size of fittings can well render the hose itself unfit for use.

Air Hose Couplers                                                             

Fittings required to fit and ensure the air hose is working to its specifications include connectors and other accessories. Couplers are connecting devices used to join an air hose to another or to the appliance that is discharging the media. They can be made from plastic, steel, aluminium, or brass.

                                coupler                               

There are many types of couplers marked for their different applications, which are usually automotive and industrial. Safety couplers, for one, are designed to stay connected to a plug so the hose can bleed completely. This protects personnel and equipment from injury and damage where the hose was disconnected with pressurized media still inside.

Other types of air hose couplers named from the countries where they were first and are commonly used include Air King, Expansion, Barcelona, Gost, Hoselink, and Express, among many others. Some couplers themselves can be connected to different sized secondary connectors, which enable connection to a smaller hose.

Air Hose Nipples

These are special air hose connectors that are marked by a larger inlet hole with screw-on connectivity and a smaller outlet with a slip and snap connection. These connectors are rated for the maximum pressure they can handle before the nipple has to give.

                                                                             Nipple

Air hose nipples come in many sizes, shapes, and designs. As with couplers, the features for every nipple design are an indication for their application and ratings for temperature and pressure. Make sure you know the rating ranges for the nipples you require before you make the purchase decision.

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6. Best Air Hose Brands

 

There are many manufacturers of air hoses, but Coilhose and CEJN are some of the most trusted brands. There are also just as many, if not more, manufacturers of poor quality air hoses that you need to be careful with who you procure from. The consequences of using poor quality air hoses and fittings include ruptures that can cause media contamination, damage equipment, and also put the safety of personnel at risk among other risks.

Coilhose Air Hoses

                                  coilhose

This is a brand of pneumatic hoses made by Coilhose Pneumatics, an American company established back in 1969. The company distributes its products throughout the world but has a strong footprint in North and South America, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent. The Nylon coiled hose is the company’s flagship product, but it also markets other plastic tubing, air hoses, and accessories targeted at different industries.

CEJN Air Hoses

                                          CEJN                                                     

CEJN is another air hose and accessories brand with a solid reputation for making quality products. CEJN has built special competencies for producing hoses and connectors for thermal cooling applications. The brand’s hoses and connectors are used in liquid cooling systems for data centers, manufacturing plants, digital transmitters, agriculture, oil and gas, fire and rescue, and other industries. 

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7. Glossary

 

Anti-static -  Is the ability of a material to prevent the buildup of static electricity on its surface.

Bend radius - Is the minimum angle at which a pipe can be bent before it breaks or loses its natural shape.

Couplers - Are special components used to connect an air hose to equipment and taps for elongation or media control.

Crush resistance- This is the ability of an air hose to handle pressure exerted on it before it flattens or breaks.

Elastomer -  Is a flexible polymer material used in the manufacture of air hoses and other plastic products.

Fluoroelastomer - This is a special type of elastomer, a polymer, noted for its reliable strength that is used for making air hoses with superior resistance to corrosion and abrasion from aggressive media.

Media - Is the technical term for fluids that are transported within an air hose.

Nipples - Is a coupler-like connector with a larger screw-on inlet and a smaller slip-on stem outlet that is used for controlling the flow of low pressure fluids.

Polymers - Is a chemical compound made up of many repeating chemical units like nitrogen, hydrogen, sulphur, and others that is commonly used in the manufacture of plastic tubes, hoses, and containers.

Thermoplastic - Is a hardy and semi-flexible plastic material used for making air hoses with low permeability and superior strength.

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