Brass Ferrules Or Aluminum Ferrules For Hoses?

Industrial and residential customers globally use hoses for a number of applications. From hydraulic hoses connected to industrial equipment to garden hoses that someone will use to water their flower bed, having the right type of hose for the task at hand is critical to getting the activity done.

When you build a hose, you want to create the highest quality work so that the hose does not break during use. This means using the right material for the hose as well as the right ferrules used to connect the hose to the engine pipe or to any other length of hose.

Types of Ferrules

The most common types of ferrules you’ll see on the market are made of three different metals: brass, aluminum, and stainless steel. These ferrules are commonly found in compression fittings or couplings for pipe work attachments in the plumbing industry as the ferrules will have both male and female fittings to create a solid seal. For hose applications, you may find different metal ferrules in the following hose types:

Steel ferrules in automotive hose
Brass ferrules on water heater hose
Aluminum ferrules on fire hose

You can also find brass ferrules on welding hoses and steel ferrules on hydraulic hose systems. What the hose will be used for, the length of the hose, and the size of the ferrule can help you decide what type of metal to use when making the hose.

Brass Ferrules or Aluminum Ferrules?

Debate always arises on the type of metal used for ferrules. Is aluminum stronger than brass? Will brass rust? Which metal is cheaper to use?

While metal pricing will depend on your company’s budget and manufacturing capabilities, you can help with the decision-making process by basing your choice in advance on the type of hose you will be manufacturing. Are you making a water hose or an air hose? If the hose you are making is for air, most manufacturers will use an aluminum ferrule for the application. For water hoses, people usually choose brass ferrules.

What happen? Although brass or aluminum does not rust when in contact with water, it does oxidize. Oxidation is a kind of protective mechanism in this metal. This will create a type of scaling and staining on the metal. When brass is properly sealed with a protective coating, it can resist oxidation and last for a very long time. Even when oxidized, brass will last a long time before eroding.

Some aluminum alloys do not have the same yield when in contact with water, because the layered oxidation causes erosion that damages the metal permanently. If you must decide to use aluminum for the ferrules, then you need to use anode aluminum that can handle both fresh and saltwater applications as corrosion rates slow down.

The shape and length of the ferrule can also be a factor. Aluminum ferrules range in length from 0.500″ to 0.968″ and can be smooth cylindrical. Brass ferrules can typically range from 0.500″ to 1,000″ and are available in a variety of shapes such as oval, ribbed, smooth and drenched.

Choose the Right Ferrule For Hose Application

Again, it cannot be stressed enough that making your decision on brass or aluminum ferrules should be based on the type of hose you are making and what it will be used for in an industrial or residential application. Make your decision about what to pass through the hose and the type of seal you want to choose the best ferrule for your needs.

Portable Industrial Vacuum Systems

Vacuum systems have always been used industrially to transport liquid products such as water, slurries or slurries, as well as dry products. This vacuum system may be truck based, or alternatively, on a portable platform such as a trailer or skid. A common question is how far the product can be transported, and how close the vacuum unit should be to the job. This paper answers the question for moving liquid products with a Liquid Ring pump based vacuum system.

For liquid products, it makes no difference how far you can run horizontally (up to 400-500 feet) as long as you use good seals and gaskets to prevent vacuum loss. Make sure you don’t experience any additional (unnecessary) kinking or lifting or lowering of the hose. It should be as straight as possible on a flat track. Use a slow 90 degree radius spin. The bend in the line reduces the loading rate significantly. Your vertical lift will be the hardest part of the process. No machine will lift a solid column of water more than ~30 feet. You can make very high lifts (over 100′) vertical if air is allowed to enter the column. Make sure your hose is not buried in the product for a long time….the system needs to swallow air.

You cannot burn a liquid ring vacuum system by burying the hose in the product; it will only make hot water in the water tank. When that water finally evaporates, you will lose your vacuum. When you add water back into the tank, your vacuum will return.

Hard tubing will greatly improve your flow by reducing friction losses. Maybe you can’t use it, but if possible, use it. (Hard tubing is usually Schedule 80 PVC, glued in a straight line, flanged cleaning at 90° slow radius, threaded end for flexible suction hose). Descending works best if you suck into the container. If it’s possible to do this, do it.

In general, larger diameter hoses provide greater vacuum efficiency and higher loading rates. Changing the diameter of the hose along the length of the suction hose can be a problem. Air velocity is directly dependent on the diameter of the hose, and variations in air velocity can cause blockages in solid products.

Hoses with a 4″ diameter can be handled by one person. Hoses with a diameter of 6″ require frequent disconnection or tag-teaming by two people. A better alternative is to use a wheelbarrow or a broom or sweeper to transfer the product to the hose. It is also possible to remove the intake and have two hoses working at the same time, under the right circumstances. A wand is available for the end of the hose to facilitate product retrieval, and often a makeshift grip is made of brooms and duct tape.

For solids, a 6″ hose can generally handle a maximum diameter particle size of 2″, a 4″ hose can handle 1″, and a 2″ hose can handle a maximum particle size”.

As indicated, hard tubing is best for reducing friction losses. If you don’t have tough piping, the next best thing is a smoothbore hose. Corrugated polyethylene hoses are lightweight and easier to handle, but long corrugated hoses can reduce speed dramatically. Most of the length of your hose should be hard tubing or fine bore rubber hose, with only the last part of the working end (<30′) being lightly corrugated hose.

Machine Vision and Inspection

This system is widely used by machine makers in the manufacturing industry as a method for checking the quality of products or components on a production line. They can be found all over the world and in a number of different environments.

A factory in England produces stainless steel washers of various sizes. The production line is very basic. Washers are punched out of large sheet metal where they are dropped onto a conveyor belt ready to be packed into bags. One day, a worker found a bag containing a washing machine without a hole in the middle!

A vision inspection system could be introduced to identify this kind of fault before the faulty washer is packaged. A camera, placed at a point along the conveyor would be triggered to take a picture of a washer as it passes underneath. The image from the camera is relayed to a computer system that is pre-programmed by an engineer to interpret the image of the washer and decide if it is acceptable or faulty. A washer identified as faulty could be removed further down the line allowing only acceptable ones to be packaged.

This is a vision system almost at its most basic. They can do an awful lot more! Taking the washer example further; the computer system could be programmed not only to detect the presence of a hole but also check the size of the hole, the size of the washer’s outer diameter, the quality of the punched hole’s edge, roundness, scratches, colour and a whole lot more besides. Moving on from simple washers, a camera system can be used to take measurements and check the quality, alignment and presence of extremely complex assemblies.

A more recent use of vision systems is for robot guidance. Many modern car production lines rely on cameras to guide the robot arms in manouvering components like windscreens carefully into place on their vehicles.

This is only a very simple overview of what is an often a complex and vital part of the manufacturing process. In further articles I hope to go into greater depth of what makes up a vision system and how it integrates into the production line.