If you purchase fluid connectors such as COLDER CPC products, they can greatly enhance the performance, as well as optimize user experience when using your equipment, as well as devices that use this type of technology. These types of gear and tools are used in many industries, including but not limited to: Various life science applications, and uses in chemical management and industrial occupations. The following is a simple systematic procedure for choosing the right connector.
Are fluid connectors, in your opinion, only a secondary consideration of the design process? If so, you must rethink your thought process. The connector component has the ability to provide a very significant improvement to the safety as well as the performance of devices, along with equipment used in the processes of fluid handling. Also, end users of a product of fluid-handling find connectors as the main touchpoint, meaning that these components have a large impact on observations of the user-friendly aspect of a product. Choosing the most appropriate and efficient connector can also halt any contamination, as well as putting a stop to connection errors that can become very expensive, and also very dangerous to human lives.
Therefore, there are high stakes when components such as these are selected, allowing flexible tubes to be speedily and securely connected and disconnected in a large variety of chemical-handling, special industrial processes and life science. Presently, specified couplings also can generate sanitary connections, avert dripping when disconnected, transmission of electrical and fluid signals when in parallel, and the even exchanging of wireless data.
With a large variety of options for connecting tubing, and with the process risking systems, it is extremely important to secure a strategy of selection that will produce the best choice of a connector solution for the application of fluid-handling. Below is a strategy of three steps that have been developed to aid in this proper selection. By taking the steps to follow this strategy, you will have gained additional ability to analyze connectors thoroughly, evaluate and compare the material choices that are available, and take into consideration the capabilities that go further from offered connector options that are conventional.
First Step: Figure out the Foundational Needs of the Project
The foundational needs of a project define the parameters for piping and connectors – e.g., Do these parameters include the convenience of operation and flow or the additional problems of compatibility with media and sanitary issues as well? The project also will specify whether the piping and connectors can be disposable or recyclable, and also the question of whether or not values are determined.
The following factors of the project will aid you in determining the functionality of the necessary connector:
- Requirements of flow – When you have to determine the flow requirements of your project, the inner diameter (ID) of the piping probably should be first considered. Flow charts should be consulted for various diameters of pipes, and the proper size should be selected that will allow the delivery of flow needed at the required operating pressures. Keep also in mind that the reduction of flow might be slightly reduced by components that are inline, such as filters, connectors, and values. The drops of pressure components are varied by manufacturer, along with some layouts that produce smaller amounts of resistance and instability to the flow process than others. As soon as the tubing ID has been selected, you should choose a design of a value of connector that offers the highest flow and the smallest drop of pressure.
- The effects of media – Regardless of the material of the connector (e.g. plastic, metal, etc.), there is a need to be attuned with the transferred media. Media that is commonly used, such as water and air, are simple enough to analyze for chemical compatibility. However, others can be seen as more challenging to analyze because of the combination of ingredients. For example, IVD inks and various reagents that are served in printing applications. A helpful aid can be a set of reference materials to help narrow down the choice of material, but the act of testing may have to be a necessary step in order to evaluate media effects.
- The factors of pressure and temperature – Adding to the variation of the application pressures and temperatures, one must consider the possible temperatures that the connectors in the application may be exposed to during a shipping transfer or storage placement. These conditions might be outside the normal temperature range the connector can withstand.
- The type of termination – Using a wide range of terminations, connectors are linked to plastic piping or tubing. A list of terminations would include compression fittings, Push-to-connect, hose barb and many more. Multiple finely made barb connectors (with piercing edges and the elimination of parting lines as features) give a safe connection over a large list of tubing style and material varieties. Softer tubing complements single-hose barbs, like silicone rubber for example. If your choice is stiffer material tubing, such as secured PVS and much harder forms of plastic, there is a possibility that the tube ID may not relax at a sufficient rate around the barb material. Lack of this bond results in the lack of the ID forming a tight seal, thus requiring numerous sharp barb materials in order to seal and ensure a respectful pull of physical resistance.
- Valves choices – Connectors containing integral calves form a more sanitary and secure connection, stopping the need for clamps and shutoff values that are secondary, overall enhancing the view of the equipment or device. Connectors that are valved prohibit spills when disconnected, as well as the passing of air into the system.
- Options for mounting – In some projects, connectors are mounted to either the front, side or back panel of an enclosure or machine. For particular cases such as these, select suppliers sell pipe thread as well as panel mount options in order to cause a secure mount to the device. Using these configurations may aid in specifying an elbow as the coupling connector. And why is this the case Because if a front panel mounted connector of an analyzer will include a ninety-degree elbow, for example, tubing simply can be directed downwards on the surface of the apparatus. This would, in turn, stop unmanageable tubing configurations that hog space and take away from the installation's appearance.
Second step: Make sure your materials are matched to the project/application
It's important to think about what type of media will pass through the connector, which will have on its strength, durability, color and outer appearance. You should also consider any type of chemicals that might be transferred through your connector, or applied on the surface of the connector. Some applications that are high-end involve acids or solvents that are strong that require connectors created out of PEEK and PVDF, which are special polymers.
- ABS – Medical-grade thermoplastic that withstands gamma and E-beam sterilization. Offers good physical properties and resistance to chemical attack.
- Acetal – Strong, lightweight and economical material that has good rigidity over a broad temperature range, with toughness and durability.
- Polyamide (nylon) – Very resistant to wear and abrasion, with good mechanical properties at elevated temperatures. Low permeability to gases and good chemical resistance. • Polycarbonate – Resistant to some chemicals, transparent and withstands sterilization. Features high-impact resistance, outstanding dimensional stability and good optical properties.
- PEEK (polyetheretherketone) – Engineered thermoplastic with high temperature, chemical and fatigue resistance, along with superior mechanical and electrical properties.
- Polyethylene – Low-cost, chemically resistant thermoplastic that is opaque and withstands elevated temperatures.
- PPS (polyphenylene sulfide) – Exhibits the broadest resistance to chemical attack of all engineered plastics.
- Polypropylene – Excellent general-purpose resin that is highly resistant to attack from solvents and other chemicals. Resistant to environmental stress cracking and suited to challenging environments.
- Polysulfone – Rigid, strong and chemically resistant, it withstands repeated sterilization and higher temperatures than other thermoplastics. High hydrolytic stability allows autoclaving and steam sterilization in medical applications.
- PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) – Offers very high chemical resistance and stability at high temperatures.
- PVDF (polyvinylidene difluoride) – Tough engineered thermoplastic with a balance of physical and chemical properties that makes it suitable for high-performance applications.
- Aluminum – Lightweight metal with a high strength-to-weight ratio, available with a durable anodized finish. Nontoxic, nonmagnetic and non-sparking.
- Chrome-plated brass – Rugged and attractive, this metal is excellent for high-pressure and high-temperature applications.
- Die-cast zinc – Weighing about 20 percent less than brass, this durable and lightweight material withstands high pressures and temperatures.
When deliberating about materials, don’t overlook the O-ring in the connector. Some O-ring materials hold up well when exposed to heat, while others are more suitable for low temperatures. In addition, the O-ring material must be compatible with the chemical properties of the fluids it comes in contact with, as well as its physical and biological environment.
O-ring material options include:
- Buna-N – The most common O-ring material due to its solvent, oil and water resistance. Temperature range of -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees Celsius to 121 degrees Celsius.
- EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer) – Also known as EPR, this material offers excellent chemical resistance. Peroxide-cured EPDM also provides exceptional resistance to high and low temperatures.
- FKM (fluorocarbon) – Known for its outstanding resistance to heat, oxidation, weathering and ozone. Operating temperature range of -15 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (-24 degrees Celsius to 206 degrees Celsius).
- Silicone – Withstands temperatures from -70 degrees Fahrenheit to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (-56 degrees Celsius to 204 degrees Celsius) and higher with special compounds. Medical-grade silicones also meet USP Class VI requirements for biocompatibility in life science applications.
Third Step: Special Connection Capabilities Should be Considered
In the present day, connectors can be applied to connect more types of lines, aside from those carrying a single fluid. Using unique hybrid couplings, lines that carry gases, liquids and electrical signals can be joined by the means of single multi-function coupling. In many various applications, these hybrid couplings are useful, help save a good amount of time, stop the mistake of misconnections and also lessens the risk of error in operators, thus these couplings have gained popularity among various professional communities.
Another important step in progress is the display of connectors that contain radio frequency identification (RFID) abilities. These types of connectors make wireless information transmissions in between coupling halves possible. Placed in close distance to each other, One connector would contain an RFID tag that contains information, while the other would contain an RFID reader that searches for the tag and then reads it. These transmissions can be useful for a variety of purposes. One example is ensuring precise connections to medical systems that are multi-port. If a wrong connection is performed, with the two coupling halves being a small amount of centimeters apart, in turn, the RFID reader will receive ID information from the tag that is on the half that is incoming and would transfer the information to a controller. This controller can signal a warning or turn off the system. This gives safety to the system and patients that are being aided by it. Another example would be RFID-enabled couplers, which can aid equipment that involves printing, in order to confirm inks that are OEM provided.
The step descriptions above should be detailed enough to help you find the correct connector for the fluid based system on your equipment or device. If additional help is needed for your selection, popular suppliers of connectors can offer assistance with experts. Suppliers in this area also have in their inventory a large range of connector style types and materials. They also have the capabilities of customizing connectors in order to be updated with the prerequisites of the most unique and challenging applications.