Hydraulic Fittings and Flanges

Posted on January 23, 2019 Jerold Perkins Aviation

Unfortunately, even though it would make the hydraulic system stronger and more reliable, you can't just weld a hydraulic system together. Instead, you have to use fittings and flanges, some of the most useful components of a hydraulic system. But, with so many different options to choose from, it's important to know the difference in order to determine which is best for your needs.

Fittings are pieces of hardware that seal fluid within a hydraulic system by tightening threads between mating pairs, forcing them to form a high-pressure seal. There are two types of fittings: all-metal and O-rings.

All-metal fittings are those that utilize metal-to-metal contact to create a seal. There are two types of all-metal fittings: pipe-fittings and flare-fittings. Pipe-fittings are cylindrical and prone to leakage and loosening due to being torque-sensitive. They're also sensitive to temperature and vibration. Flare-fittings are generally used with tubing, making them more economical and able to withstand a wider temperature range.

O-rings contain pressurized fluid by compressing an elastomeric seal. They're rubber-to-metal connectors, so they don't distort anything, making them easier to tighten. But, they're expensive and not interchangeable nor reusable.

Flanges are external or internal ridges or rims, used for the strength of attachment to another object. Flanges are more suited for mobile parts and components. They can withstand a lot of shock and vibrations and have high-pressure capabilities. They're quick to assemble and offer a lot of flexibility between the hose and tube, offering ease of connection.

Either way, fitting or flange, it's important to remember them with your regularly scheduled maintenance and repairs. They are great for hydraulic systems, but they're of no use once they're old and damaged.

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