Interchanging and Intermixing Tube Fittings, Part 2
Posted by David Brown on Jul 31, 2014 7:30:00 AM
Intermixing Tube Fittings
In a previous blog, I wrote about interchanging tube fittings. In this blog, I will discuss a more controversial topic - intermixing tube fitting components. Intermixing stainless steel tube fittings means using the components (body, ferrules or nuts) from one manufacturer with the components from another manufacturing.
Most manufacturers discourage this practice. Their logic is easy to understand. While most tube fittings seal using the same basic principles, each tube fitting design is unique and each tube fitting components is specifically designed to work with the other components to achieve a seal can increase dramatically. The more dissimilar the design; the more likely it is that they tube fitting will leak or fail.
In order to work as designed, the components from one manufacture would have to be identical in geometry and function as the intermixing brand. Even then, it would be advisable to conduct testing to ensure that the tube fitting combinations sealed properly.
So why do companies intermix tube fittings. The basic reasons are:
Many different tube fittings are available at their facilities. OEM equipment, site built systems, contractor supplies and other sources might increase the number of tube fitting designs in a plant.
Installers and maintenance people are not able to tell the difference between tube fittings tube fitting designs.
Purchasing may change suppliers and, by extension, change their tube fitting supplier. When maintence orders new fittings to repair a system, they order the current tube fitting carried by their supplier. The current tube fitting vendors carry only one tube fitting design and that design is not compatible original fitting.
Done incorrectly, intermixing can lead to leaks, productivity and quality problems. At worst, it can lead to safety and environmental problems.
It seems that the solutions might be straight forward.
Maintenance and Purchasing Departments must recognize that they have a variety of tube fitting designs in their facilities and that it is nearly impossible to change this.
Purchasing should establish channels to obtain replacement components for each brand. Establishing a mulit-line source for most or all of your tube fitting replacements will reduce handling and inventory costs and stocking issues.
Train maintenance and installers on the proper identification and replacement of tube fitting components.
Check to see the tube fitting components have been tested to intermix with the current component.
Intermixing tube fitting presents problems for maintenance and production. The best course of action is to address these situations inadvance by recognizing tube fittng brands and having a source that can supply components that are completely intermixable with the original brand.
via Interchanging and Intermixing Tube Fittings, Part 2
Intermixing Tube Fittings
This is the first of a two articles focused on interchanging tube fittings and intermixing tube fitting components. Part one deals with interchanging tube fittings. Part two will take up the issues in intermixing tube fitting components.
Creating leak-tight systems is important to most manufacturing process. The integrity of instrumentation and control systems have significant impact on:
Safety and the environment
Productivity and costs
When tube fittings leak, it is usually due to improper installation, tubing quality, or product selection. Other times leaks are caused when the components of tube fittings are mixed when making up a fitting. This is called intermixing tube fittings. We will talk about this in my next blog.
Interchanging tube fittings is when one tube fitting brand is substituted for another. While this usually happens during maintenance, especially when OEM equipment or original system installation need updates or replacement. It can also occur when an individual maintenance worker or contractor substitutes the brand specified by the system designer with another brand. This usually happens because:
The current or specified brand is not available at the time of installation
The installer or owner company prefers a different tube fitting brand based on cost and/or experience with the brands.
Installers and desigers can be confident when interchanging tube fittings if:
They know the replacement brand is a “drop-in” replacement in terms of both size and performance for the current component.
Installers are familiar with assembly and installation practices.
The fittings have the necessary approvals and meet the performance standards for the application and for material traceability.
And Some Guidelines
Therefore, when choosing a substitute tube fitting brand, installers and purchasing agents should choose brands that:
Are drop-in substitutes for the current brand in terms of size and installation practices. This means that the distance between the points where tubing seats into the tube fitting are identical.
Have documented performance demonstrating that the tubei fittings meets or exceed the performance of the current tube fitting brand.
Offer documentation and certification that meet material and traceability requirements for the industry and application.
Designers, installers and OEMs having service issues or are who simply looking for a replacement or backup for their current tube fitting brand can save a lot of engineering and maintenance time, installation problems, and dead inventory by following a few simple guidelines.
via Interchanging and Intermixing Tube Fittings
SSP manufactures stainless steel tube fittings, pipe fittings, valves and other instrumentation products that meet all industry standards while significantly improving the user installation and replacement process. Our goal is to be the installer’s supplier of choice.
Duolok® Tube Fittings
Duolok stainless steel tube fittings feature low-torque, two-ferrule design provides fast and reliable leak-tight connections, even in systems having high vibration or rapid temperature and pressure fluctuations. They are designed and manufactured to interchange and intermix with Swagelok® tube fittings.
Unilok® Tube Fittings
Unilok stainless steel tube fittings single-ferrule design provides fast and reliable connections in analytical and process instrumentation systems and system and process systems. They are designed and manufactured to interchange and intermix with Parker® CPI tube fittings.
Griplok® Tube Fittings
Griplok stainless steel tube fitting's two-ferrule design provides leak-tight reliability in instrumentation and control systems, and process systems. They are designed and manufactured to interchange and intermix with Hoke Gyrolok® tube fittings.
TruFit® Stainless Steel Pipe Fittings and Weld Fittings
pipe fittings, weld fittings, and adapter fittings are designed and manufactured to provide reliable connections in instrumentation and process piping systems. Brass, Monel®, Hastalloy-C®, and stainless steel pipe fittings are standard. Other alloys are available on request.
Complete range of Flolok Valves
consisting of small bore, ball, needle, check, plug, and purge valves, as well as quick connect couplings, Tee type and Inline filters
-A Leader in Operational Excellence
-Specializing in Stainless Steel and nickel-based alloy fluid system components and assemblies
-Delivering faster than our larger competitors, and with more precision and control than our smaller ones
-Emphasizing "Best Value" in our product and service delivery process