Aerospace and Aviation
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry
Machine and Systems Engineering
Quick couplings ensure that the lines which supply machines and equipment with liquids, gases or electricity are connected fast and safe. During the maintenance and assembly of equipment, quick couplings provide much more flexibility and efficiency, without the need for additional tools. Lines can be disconnected and reconnected quickly, which simplifies tasks such as the replacement of modules, assemblies and tools. There are several different types and variations of quick couplings to choose from, depending on the line design, the intended application, the pressure conditions in the line and the medium passed through the line.
Mono-couplings vs. multi-couplings
Mono-couplings, or single-couplings, connect just one line and consist of two connecting parts: the coupling and the adaptor. Depending on the application, there are thru-type couplings that enable the free passage of a medium, or self-sealing couplings that seal the line with a valve. Clean-break couplings, for example, ensure the drip-free connection and disconnection of lines in sensitive sectors such as the chemical industry. Mono-couplings are designed for different operating pressures: low pressure range (up to 100 bar), medium pressure range (up to 250 bar) or high pressure range (up to 3,000 bar). They connect lines that supply liquid or gaseous media; for example, water, oil, lubricating grease, fuel or gas. In terms of the connection mechanism of mono-couplings, a distinction is made between screw-type couplings and plug-type couplings, among others.
In contrast to mono-couplings, multi-couplings connect several lines at once. This method also ensures that the lines are not interchanged and that coupling procedures are significantly accelerated and simplified. Multi-couplings are available in a housing-type design, a compact design or on a plate mounting, enabling plants to be supplied with different fluid materials or electrical power. Depending on how the coupling process takes place, a distinction is made between manually operated multi-couplings, hydraulically, pneumatically or electrically operated docking systems and tool change systems for industrial robots.
Applications of mono- and multi-couplings
Both mono- and multi-couplings are used in many industrial sectors. They provide not only flexibility and a greater economic benefit, but also a high degree of safety when connecting lines. Quick couplings or quick connects are frequently used in the automotive and steel industries, in machine and plant engineering, and in transportation, offshore and defence technologies. The chemical and pharmaceuticals industry, aerospace industry and medical technology industry are among the particularly sensitive sectors in which quick couplings are indispensable.
Quick couplings in the automotive industry, transportation technology and machine and systems engineering
In car manufacturing, multi-couplings and docking systems, in particular, facilitate the production process and supply media and power to pressing tools or welding guns. Tool change systems are attached directly to robots and are thus a central component of the production process in autobody shell construction or in testing facilities. Mono-couplings, by contrast, connect liquid, gas and air lines; in painting systems, for example. Mono-couplings play a much more important role in transportation technology, whether it is in the automotive, railway or ship-building industry; for example, in cooling and braking systems, for vehicle hydraulics or for hydrogen refuelling stations. Special couplings are also used in plant construction and systems engineering for the automated and drip-free connection and disconnection of lines; for example, in hydraulic systems.
The steel, offshore technology, defence technology and aerospace industries place other demanding requirements on couplings
Due to the extreme mechanical strains of the steel industry and in offshore technology industry, quick couplings must meet especially high standards. They supply steel mills with power, hydraulics, compressed air or gas. Manually operated multi-couplings are used in moulds, while coaxial couplings provide cooling for electrical lines. Mono-couplings and automated multi-couplings are also used to supply media to cover-type annealing furnaces. In the offshore technology sector, mono- and multi-couplings are operated under water by both divers and remote-controlled under water vehicles (ROV) and couplings are used, among other applications, for gas lines or for controlling hydraulic systems. Other specific requirements are placed on quick couplings in the defence technology industry and the aerospace industry. These are used for changing aggregates in weapon systems as well as in testing facilities or for supplying media in spacecraft.
Quick couplings provide safety in the medical technology and chemical and pharmaceutical industries
Precisely functioning quick-connect couplings ensure a high level of safety in the medical technology and chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Non-interchangeable screw-type and plug-type couplings for medical gas and air supply are just as indispensable as the quick couplings for the water supply and concentrate lines on dialysis machines, or the clean-break couplings for coolant lines in computer tomography. In the chemical and pharmaceuticals industry, where particularly aggressive media are processed, quick couplings are used for sampling, for example. Clean-break couplings ensure that lines can be connected and disconnected without dripping and without inclusion of air or media loss. Emergency release couplings play a key role during loading applications: when a predefined break away force is exceeded, the media supply line is disconnected automatically and non-destructively, so the line does not tear off and medium cannot leak out.