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STAUFF ACT CLAMP

Design

STAUFF ACT Clamps are an innovatively designed solution for the installation of instrumentation pipework where anti-corrosion properties are of paramount importance (e.g. in the fields of offshore oil and gas exploration and processing).
 
The design – based on the tried and tested STAUFF Clamps according to DIN 3015 – offers installation time reduction and long term cost savings due to extended service intervals.

The STAUFF ACT clamp body design is available for the Standard Series (DIN 3015, Part 1) and the Twin Series (DIN 3015, Part 3) to cover the most commonly used metric and imperial pipe diameters from 6 mm to 42 mm (from 1/4 inch to 1 1/2 inch).

Alternative cofigurations and pipe diameters are available on request.
 

Development

Throughout their development, STAUFF ACT Clamps have been subject to stringent testing at the STAUFF in-house laboratories located in Werdohl, Germany.

In order to ensure credibility of the product, the development process has also involved independent testing:

To achieve this, the services of the Centre for Corrosion Technology at Sheffield Hallam University’s Materials and Engineering Research Institute have been utilized, applying advanced techniques with equipment such as high resolution surface metrology and form measurement systems.

In a controlled laboratory environment, continous hot salt spray tests according to ASTM B117 have been applied for periods of 2000 hours to various clamp configurations holding 316 stainless steel tubing.

In addition to that, independent field test samples – located on an oil rig in the Dutch sector of the North Sea – have also been assessed at the Sheffield Hallam University facilities.

Both independent tests have recorded positive results in favour of the anti-corrosion attributes of the STAUFF ACT Clamp.

Fully detailed test reports are available upon request.
 

 

Conformity

The clamp bodies of the STAUFF ACT Clamps are made of flame-retardant PPV0 plastic material, which is and V0-classified according to UL 94 (Underwriters Laboratories: "Tests for Flammability of Plastic Materials for Parts in Devices and Applications", identical with IEC/DIN EN 60695-11-10 and -20 and the Canadian CSA C 22.2).

STAUFF ACT Clamps have been constructed in compliance with section 7.3 (Tubing Installation) of the Norwegian offshore standard Norsok Z-010 (Revision 3, published in October 2000), API RP 552 and NACE SP 0108-2008 (section 13).

Stauff Voswinkel Quick Couplings
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Voswinkel RS series
Hydraulic system contamination: causes and solutions

Overlooking these common causes of hydraulic system contamination could mean catastrophic machine failure. Vigilance is key in maintaining a clean machine.

I picture several things when I think of a mobile hydraulic system malfunction:

  • damaged control wiring and connectors
  • a scored valve spool stuck in place
  • a pressure valve poppet kept from closing completely.
CDI-rustScoredSpool

Scoring on this spool due to rust particles (water contamination), caused this valve to stick.

Why do I picture these things? The challenging faults that have triggered a client’s phone call to come and provide hydraulics maintenance training often include these issues. Damaged wiring is the easier of these problems to track down and solve quickly. Harmful particle contaminants are often smaller than what can be seen with the naked eye.

Hydraulic motion control systems—and also hydraulic force control systems (eg. braking systems)—were never meant to circulate a slurry. When insoluble particles are mixed with hydraulic fluid, a slurry is the result. Solids within the liquid are a recipe for trouble. Particles whisked along in high-velocity flows can be driven into clearances causing valves to stick. Hydraulic fluid needs to be pure.

When I was a young boy growing up with logging and lumber mill machinery in the 1970s it wasn’t uncommon to drain the hydraulic oil into a bucket during a hose repair, then pour it right back into the tank once the job was completed. These machines were crude and inefficient with simple gear pumps and direct, lever-operated spool valves. I’m not saying that hydraulic system performance didn’t degrade as grit and sawdust made multiple rounds through the system, but there were no intermittent or catastrophic failures. It was not a great repair process or maintenance culture, but the cost did not have a great impact on the business at the time.

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Once hydraulic fluid is badly contaminated, component failures occur more frequently.

Today’s hydraulic systems feature tiny pilot circuits with electronically controlled pressure valves. These pressure-reducing valves produce the precise hydraulic force needed to move a proportional directional valve spool to the desired flow opening. The pilot valves that produce this precise pressure in some cases move less than 1 mm (approx. 3⁄64 in.). The internal parts have close tolerances and are small—often they are on the scale of parts found in a ballpoint pen or a wristwatch. The forces produced by these variable current solenoids are low. These are also valves used as the first layer of hydraulic control in very large construction excavators and mining shovels, or for the steering on a grader. A particle of the right size and shape can jam a pilot valve and render an entire machine inoperable for an extended period of time. Additionally, valves used for safety functions can fail when particles are present. Particles from rust, environmental dust as well as slivers of wear metals need to be removed from the fluid if the system is expected to perform reliably.

How does contamination get into a system?
Common contamination ingression paths include the following:

  • When filling with new fluid
  • Quick couplers
  • Through the breather
  • Cylinder rod scratches
  • Bad top-of-tank gaskets
  • Exposed ports during repair
  • Worn seals
  • Brand new hydraulic fluid
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Careless drum storage can introduce contamination at the source.

How do these contaminants get inside? There are numerous ingression paths. Some of these particles are even manufactured on the inside of a hydraulic system. Water is a common liquid contaminant that assists in the creation of extremely hard, iron oxide particles right where a rust patch forms inside a valve.

Sometimes a jug/drum/tote with new fluid is already contaminated. This is either because the bottling or filling plant itself was dirty, the container it has been stored in was dirty, or because the container has been contaminated by multiple careless openings and closings.

A careless filling procedure without proper filtration and cleaning will drag contaminants into the system along with the new oil. The old practice of using an open pail and funnel to fill a hydraulic reservoir should remain in the past if reliable performance is the goal. Much better methods for filling are available that use a filter-transfer pump to draw fluid from a barrel or tote and pump it directly into the reservoir through a coupler on the side of the tank.

CDI-shovel-with-inset hydraulic system contamination

These little, tiny components are integral to the operation of this massive shovel.

Older style breather/filler caps have very porous mesh (40 microns and larger is typical). They are not up to the task of keeping contamination out. If someone has been shortcutting the filling process by dumping fresh fluid in through the breather port, it becomes an excellent entry point for contamination.

Quick couplers are found on machines as test points, accessory attachments, and tank filling points. If they are not absolutely spotless before a connection is made, contaminants are directly forced into the system.
In my experience the five most common solid particle types found in the fluid of a hydraulic system are:

  • Metals
  • Silica
  • Elastomers
  • Fibers
  • Rust

Metal particles are common
Metal particles enter a hydraulic system when wire reinforced hose is cut to length with an abrasive wheel just before crimped fittings are attached. A practice that is growing in popularity and that should be considered a standard is to have all hose assemblies cleaned using a compressed-air-driven cleaning projectile before installation.

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Many particles such as the 30 micron, green mineral particle shown, can’t be seen without a microscope.

Filings from drilling, threading and fabricating a metal hydraulic tank are common. Metal fragments are also created when moving parts come in direct contact with each other. This is common in pumps and valves when the hydraulic oil viscosity is too thin. The outlet port pressure of a gear pump will often drive the hardened gears against the inlet side of the housing, causing scuffing and creating aluminum or steel shavings. Some mobile lift machines with long-stroke cylinders that have cycled past their expected service life may produce metal slivers and filings as the piston scrubs against the inside of the cylinder. This is true where the internal stop tube is of insufficient length.

CDI-cavitationDamage


Cavitation has scattered bits of metal ripped from this porting plate throughout the hydraulic system.

A pump that suffers from cavitation will also generate metal particles. Excessive restriction to flow on the inlet side of the pump creates vapor cavities which implode near the high-pressure outlet. During the implosion, the resulting shock wave damages metal surfaces and tears out small particles. The softer metals inside a pump—such as bronze or aluminum—are most prone to this erosion damage. Harder materials such as steel can also suffer this erosion damage, as happens when a runaway cylinder under negative load creates an extremely low-pressure zone on the outlet of a partially open, flow or directional valve. Some researchers have found that the presence of solid particles in hydraulic oil makes it even easier for cavitation bubbles to form.

Metal particles that remain in suspension can cause additional erosion as they strike against valve spool metering notches and valve port edges during the high-velocity flow that occurs as a valve is first opening, or just before it closes.

Upon the study of metal particle damage alone and the runaway effects that can occur, one can see how important it is to keep hydraulic fluid clean and the forces of cavitation at bay.

Prevent plugs from soft fibers

CDI-oringFailure

The seal damaged due to cavitation may mean internal leakage as well as intermittent faults.

Fibers from wood, cardboard, paper, shop towels and rags are commonly found in hydraulic system fluids. Elastomer contaminant particles come from hoses, O-rings and seals when they break down. While these are softer contaminant types, they can easily plug a control or damping orifice. Tiny silica particles (silicon dioxide) are commonly found in topsoil. Quartz rock sand is silica. Other rock minerals and dust on a concrete floor or roadway also contain silica. These hard, sharp-edged particles cause catastrophic valve failures to the mobile machinery that operates in these conditions.

Filters are not meant to compensate for poor overall maintenance practices where little attempt is being made to operate a system correctly and keep its surroundings as clean as reasonably possible. If hydraulic fluid analysis reports continuously show excessive particle levels for a given system, it can be helpful to enlist the help of an independent filtration and contamination control expert who can identify the source of the contaminants, help design improved maintenance practices or select and specify more effective filtration products and systems.

CDI-filter-examples

Filters are designed to help maintain fluid cleanliness, not to compensate for poor operations and maintenance practices.

It is inevitable that some contaminants will find their way into a hydraulic system. To achieve reliable hydraulic system performance, it is important to find methods to control contamination build-up, and then follow them consistently, even after the contamination control expert has left the site.

It is easy to overlook periods of overheated system operation and forget that these periods may help to create a sludge within the fluid or cause excessive metal-to-metal wear when heat has made the oil too thin. The complete picture of contamination control requires vigilance, collaboration and ownership from all who interact with any hydraulic system. Machine operators are commonly tasked with performing filter changes or replacing worn hydraulic hoses. Often the training they receive (if any), and the instructions in the maintenance manual cover only the minimum steps related to the task, without regard for your contamination control strategies. Raising awareness of the consequences of excessive fluid contamination can play a vital role in achieving reliable hydraulic system performance.

While there certainly are technical aspects to understanding and controlling fluid contamination, operational and maintenance practice brings the cultural and human factor to the forefront to make the most important contribution.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUJ3qXFc0Zo

Multi couplings - Higher productivity and safer procedures
Compact Geith hydraulic quick coupler able to ‘reverse buckets’
 
 

Geith Quick CouplerAt World of Concrete 2019, Geith displayed its latest quick coupler, a compact design for use with excavators, mini excavators and backhoes weighing between 2 and 87 tons.

Geith says the coupler can be operated entirely from the inside of the cab and features increased breakout force. Compared to a direct attachment mount, Geith says the coupler can save operators 25 percent of their total machine operating time thanks to a simple four-step attachment process:

  1. Hook the bucket.
  2. Curl to safe position.
  3. Front lock closes.
  4. Engaging plate extends.

The coupler also has the ability to “reverse buckets,” allowing operators to excavate against walls and under pipes.

The coupler has a “curl to release” control system, Geith says, along with four independent locking components to meet all current and proposed safety standards. The coupler is also outfitted with an internal relief valve for overload protection, and a variable pin center design to accommodate a wide range of attachments.

Maintenance is simplified by a design with no greasing requirements.

Image result for multi couplings faster
Multi couplings are deemed to be the way for higher productivity with safety built in, as the attachments are changed frequently. Besides, the multi couplings can easily customized to fit most changes to achieve good efficiency gains.

Hydraulic and pneumatic hose safety can be ensured by using quick-connect fittings or quick couplings that make a repeated connection and disconnection between fluid lines and the equipment they are attached to. Quick couplings are used in both hydraulic and pneumatic applications, and are designed for easy hand operation.

Series-X65-CEJN--lg

Our quick connect couplings and nipples feature an extra security locking offers added protection against involuntary disconnection.

These safety devices feature a male end—or plug—that is inserted into a female end—or socket—to make a secure, leak-tight seal.

In extremely high-pressure hydraulic applications, a leak or accidental disconnection can cause serious personal injury or damage to machinery. In pneumatic applications, compressed air presents great dangers for hose whip.

They usually feature a one-way sleeve to allow for break-away with a tool when a coupling is clamp mounted. Two-way sleeves allow for one-hand disconnection. In two-way designs, twisting and pulling the two ends breaks the connection.

One of the most common designs is the flat face design, which is available as push-to-connect, threaded or screw-in. They eliminate any cavities where fluid or air can rest, thus removing the chance for trapped pressure and leakage. Flat face couplings provide high flow and low pressure drop and their sleeve-locking feature reduces the chance of accidental connection, removing leakage and spillage risks.

Ball or bearing types feature spring-loaded balls lodged in cavities to make the connection. They can be disconnected with just one hand.

Beswick QDM3I-&-QDM3E_Ver.2_0G FEATURED quick couplings

Miniature quick-disconnects 
These dry-break designs are non-spill couplings.

For aggressive media, one should use non-spill designs. Non-latching couplings are heavily used in medical and test applications where frequent change-outs are common. Bayonet couplings feature two plugs that are engaged and locked by completing a quarter-turn to push the male end into the female socket. Disengaging and separation is the same, but in the opposite direction.

Keep safe design in mind
Remember: When selecting a hose coupling assembly, the lowest rated component is the actual safety factor. So if you have a 5,000 psi-rated hose but a 4,000 psi coupling, the safety factor of the assembly is 4,000 psi.

When working with aggressive media, using color-coded or key locks helps avoid cross connection. Ensure sealing materials and all internal materials are compatible with the fluids being used. And if available, check alert rings to ensure a system is properly connected; for example, some manufacturers use a red alert ring that disappears when a system is properly connected.

The dangers of oil injection injuries are real with high-pressure hydraulics. This is why hydraulic high-pressure quick couplings require more than just a Teflon tape seal or thread sealant. The higher pressure you are using, the stronger the seal required—ranging from rubber metal seals and copper seals to fully metal seals.

eSafe quick couplings

During disconnection, the coupler vents the down steaming pressure, eliminating recoil and reducing noise level.

 

Ensuring a safe end of life with quick couplings is also critical. When a coupling fails, you don’t want it to explode and have locking balls flying out. The design should fail with predetermined leakage paths so fluid comes out slowly.

To avoid unplanned failure, conduct regular inspections and maintenance to check for wear and damage. Ensure there is no brinelling occurring where the locking ball is. Also, a hose could fail before the coupling so a visual inspection for abrasion and cuts is necessary.

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