If you’re new to the world of hydraulics, it can seem difficult to gain an understanding of the many hydraulic connectors available today.
In this series of articles, you’ll learn about the different types of hydraulic connectors and their key differences, which will assist in making some sense of this complex subject.
Factors affecting development of hydraulic connectors
Two factors have influenced the development of hydraulic connectors:
1: A reluctance to adopt industrial standards between countries
Many of these connector types were developed during the 20th century; a time of fierce industrial competition.
Co-operation between the major industrialised countries was limited for many years due to conflict.
2: The evolution of hydraulic systems
Hydraulic systems have changed a great deal in a short period of time.
Driving this change is the gradual increase of the desired machine output force, which is seen as a pressure increase.
In the previous series of articles introducing the three types of hydraulic connectors we discussed three principle types of connectors:
- Tapered threads
- Metal seal connectors
- Soft seal connectors
Each major industrial region has developed threads and connectors which fall into these categories.
How a thread is defined
There are three main elements that define a thread.
- The thread angle
- The thread pitch
- The thread size, or outside diameter
Other dimensions such as the depth of the thread and the minor diameter are calculated from the above sizes.
The following sections describe some basic fundamentals of threads.
Standards are used in engineering to ensure that parts from two manufacturers will fit together.
Most threads are made to a standard, and have set engineering dimensions.
The thread angle of a BSPP thread is 55 degrees.
Different threads have different thread angles.
For example NPT is 60 degrees.
The pitch of a thread is the length between two crests or two roots.
A ⅜” BSPP thread has a pitch of 19 threads per inch (TPI).
1” divided by 19 is 0.0526”.
The outside diameter of a thread is nominated in the standard.
BSPP is a NOMINAL thread size.
(The diameter is the not the size as stated, but instead, suits the walls of a pipe of that bore size.)
The depth of a thread is based on a ratio of the pitch. (d = 0.61 x P).
In this case: 0.61 x 0.526 = 0.032”
The minor diameter of a thread is calculated as follows:
md = OD – (2 x depth)
md = 0.64” – (2 x 0.032”)
md = 0.64” – 0.064”
md = 0.576”
Tapered Pipe Threads
Tapered pipe threads have an outside diameter that is cut on a cone, and the sides are not parallel.
Tapered pipe thread types include BSPT, NPT, UNS, JIS, Metric Taper and NPTF.
Metal Seal Connectors
Metal seal hydraulic connectors use a profiled seat to form a seal.
Common types of metal seal connectors include JIC, DIN, BSPP, BSPP Flat Face, JIS, NSPM, 30 Degree Flare, Komatsu, Metric French GAZ, Metric French Millimetric and SAE (Automotive).
Soft Seal Connectors
Soft seal connectors use an elastomeric soft seal to ensure a leak-free joint, and may use O-rings, encapsulated seals and bonded washers.
Soft seal connector types include BSPP, UNO, DIN, ORFS, RYCOLOK, SAE Pilot O-Ring and SAE Flange.
The available hydraulic connectors can be defined by two sub groups: country of origin and sealing method.
The table below shows how each region has developed solutions for each of the sealing methods.
For a quick introduction to hydraulic connectors check out our series on hydraulic connectors.