There are many things to think about when choosing an industrial hose, and many agree that industrial hose assemblies consisting of fittings, hoses, and crimping equipment made by the same manufacturer are the safest and highest quality. In contrast, this will never be the case when using components from differing manufacturers save for rare exceptions where two or more manufacturers approve of the exception.
This mixing and matching of parts poses many safety concerns due to potential issues like adversely affecting coupling retention, bursting hoses, leaky couplings, and blown-off ends that can cause serious physical harm. Apart from the core parts, it is also vital to properly match thread or flange ends to their mating components to ensure leak-proof connections. Last but not least, a mismatched hose assembly generally voids the warranty of all parts used and could also exclude the manufacturers from any liability should anyone be harmed due to a failed hose assembly.
Common myths about hose assemblies
1. If the fittings look the same, they will have similar performance
It is common for many fittings from different manufacturers to look similar. However, despite the similarities in appearance, that does not mean they are approved for use with any compatible hose from other brands unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Each manufacturer typically subjects their hose fitting solutions to a number of tests and qualification procedures before approving them for use on a specific type of hose. Relevant authorities like the Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution (NAHAD) indicate the extreme importance of following these usage instructions and compatibility guidelines provided by hose and coupling manufacturers.
In short, couplings and fittings are made to work only with several approved hoses and vice-versa, so using a different hose and coupling in one assembly is highly inadvisable save for when different manufacturers explicitly approve the inter-compatibility of their products.
2. Using a substitute fitting from a different manufacturer is acceptable as long as they meet the same industry specifications
As mentioned, only use approved and tested hose and fitting combinations to make a hose assembly to ensure safety and optimal performance. When planning to use a replacement fitting, first check whether it is qualified by the manufacturer for use with your current hose.
3. All crimpers are basically the same, which means a hose assembly will be fine so long as the crimp is close to the recommended diameter and looks operational
A manufacturer’s official crimp specifications virtually never support the hose, hose fittings, and crimper combinations of other manufacturers. Thus, only crimp hoses and fittings using the crimping equipment approved by their OEM.
Potential consequences of mismatched hose assemblies
Hose assemblies made of components from different manufacturers significantly increase the risk of hose failure and present a hazardous situation in any application or setting. A few of the potential consequences of hose failure caused by a mismatch of parts include:
- Fluid injection injuries
- Fittings get blown off at high speeds
- High-velocity fluid discharge
- Explosion or fire from sprayed flammable medium
- Objects held static by fluid pressure suddenly move or fall
- ‘Whipping’ hoses
Besides the possible workplace injuries that may arise, the damage that could result from hose failure can also be very costly to fix. Examples include OSHA infractions, EPA penalties, contamination clean-up, subsequent machine or system damage, and so on.
Save for a few exceptions, industrial hose assemblies should use parts all sourced from the same manufacturer. Sticking to this best practice guarantees hose integrity and longevity, minimises the risk towards operators and the surrounding working facility, and prevents costly and unexpected downtimes.
As a leading hose supplier in Singapore, Pharmchem Engineering is your one-stop shop for all your hose and hose fitting needs. Apart from our extensive product catalogue that includes stainless steel, rubber, and silicon/Teflon hoses, we also offer tailored solutions should your operational needs require a custom approach. For more information about our other industrial engineering products, like dry disconnect couplings and foam pigs, feel free to reach out to us at any time.