Fitting and adapter connections in hydraulic systems
In manufacturing and warehouse operations, forklifts are an indispensable piece of equipment. Responsible for safely and reliably lifting and transporting materials, the heart of these machines is their hydraulic systems. These systems demand high-pressure, leak-free fluid connections to ensure proper operation and performance.
Hydraulic systems rely on a variety of components to transfer the fluids efficiently and effectively. Among these are tube fittings and adapters which connect tube and hose throughout the system through which the hydraulic fluids run. Though smaller components, these tube fitting and adapter connections are key for preventing leaks and ensuring the hydraulic system performs as needed. Forklift manufacturers often look to O-ring Face Seal (ORFS) tube fittings and adapters for these critical connections.
This high-pressure fitting design offers:
- Elastomeric seal is that is more reliable than metal-to-metal fitting styles
- Zero clearance for easy plumbing
- Resistance to over-torquing, preventing damage from over-tightening
- Vibration resistance, reducing loosening caused by system vibration
- Flat face and elastomeric seal for unlimited reusability
Not all ORFS fittings are created equal
Though the ORFS fitting design is more reliable than metal-to-metal seal fitting styles, issues can still occur leading to warranty claims for the OEM, and costly leaks and downtime for the end user.
The two potential issues with the ORFS design are:
O-ring fallout: This can happen during transit, storage or assembly. When an ORFS fitting is assembled without an O-ring, the key sealing mechanism, the connection will leak. Sometimes the missing O-ring is caught, but not always. Either way, it adds to the time needed to assemble (or reassemble!) your connection.
O-ring pinch: Caused when an O-ring partially pops out of the groove and is pinched outside of the groove during assembly, O-ring pinch compromises the connection seal and can cause leaks.
Parker’s engineers have worked closely with customers to enhance our Seal-Lok ORFS fittings and adapters to eliminate these potential issues and extend the fittings’ capabilities. As a result, Seal-Lok’s Trap-Seal™ technology was created to proactively protect against O-ring fallout and pinch. The trapezoidal-shaped seal sits snugly in Seal-Lok’s ORFS captive O-ring groove (CORG) ensuring improved retention and providing maximum assurance for leak-free connections.
Preventing warranty claims, and costly downtime due to leaks
As said, while fittings and adapters may seem like a small component in the hydraulic system, they are key for ensuring the hydraulic system performs as required. When costly leaks occur due to fitting and adapter connection issues, it means warranty claims for the OEM, and costly downtime to the end user. Using the optimal ORFS fitting design will not only ensure that the fittings and adapters can withstand the high-pressures, high vibration, and potential high mechanical shock of the forklift’s hydraulic system, but when using the Seal-Lok ORFS fittings and adapters with Trap-Seal it will also ensure leaks from O-ring fallout and O-ring pinch will not happen. View the Seal-Lok fitting and adapter product line now, or check out the Seal-Lok website to learn more about Trap-Seal and the other Parker design advantages. Fitting and adapter assembly videos and other resources can also be found on this site.
Have any tube fitting and adapter questions? Refer to our Tube Fittings Division Frequently Asked Questions page, www.parker.com/tfd-faq, for a wealth of information and resources.
Looking for technical information, assembly hints, and concise help on hydraulic fittings and adapters? Check out our engineer to engineer support blog at www.tfdtechconnect.com
Contributed by Wendy Davison-Moore, marketing services manager at Parker Tube Fittings Division
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