Pick the Proper Hose

Making a correct choice requires an understanding of hose components.

By Patrick Werrlein, Swagelok Company

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Another common and lower-cost solution is called "encapsulation" — fluoropolymer entirely encapsulates the stainless-steel end connection, inside and out. However, this reduces orifice size, raising the possibility of decreased flow and entrapment.

SELECT THE RIGHT HOSE
As we've discussed, you must carefully match your application's requirements such as temperature, pressure, flow and flexibility to the four key hose components — core tube material and wall construction, reinforcement layers, covers and end connections. You will find many options for each component. A manufacturer's representative and product catalogs can help guide you to the right choice.

Make the Most of Hose
Consider these three tips:

1. Use identification to your advantage. Customize your hoses with tags or text. Personnel then can see at a glance the hose's function, which enhances safety and plant efficiency. Proper identification also allows fast and accurate ordering of replacement hose. Color-coded silicone covers — e.g., one color for hoses going to the process and another for hoses coming from it — can enable identifying hose function from a distance.

2. Insist on traceability. Select from manufacturers that offer fully traceable products. Lot numbers on hose assemblies, including fluoropolymer core tubes and stainless-steel end connections, allow the manufacturer to better limit your potential loss in the event of a recall. For example, if you get a bad hose in an order of 100, traceability enables the manufacturer to determine if the problem goes beyond the one bad hose — without this knowledge, you might automatically replace all 100 hoses.

3. Think about cost of ownership. Make decisions based on the true cost of a hose — i.e., the purchase price plus the cost of owning and maintaining or replacing the assembly over time. All hoses wear out. Determine how often you likely will replace the hose. Calculate the cost of replacement parts, labor and downtime.



PATRICK WERRLEIN is product manager, hose products, for Swagelok Company, Solon, Ohio. E-mail him at patrick.werrlein@swagelok.com.

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