A hydraulic system is a set of equipment in which pressurized fluid is involved in the transmission of power, often in heavy machinery for the purposes of moving heavy parts.
In order for a hydraulic system to function, it must be equipped with hydraulic fluid transmission lines that can withstand the high levels of pressurization to which the fluids are subject. Some kinds of equipment involving hydraulic systems must be equipped with quick disconnect components to allow for easy connection and disconnection of hydraulic fluid transmission lines.
This can be for safety purposes or for other reasons relating to the system’s operation. Such components involve special couplings that can be connected and disconnected, usually by hand, without disrupting the pressurization level of the transmission line or other equipment. Hydraulic quick disconnects can be essential to the safe and effective operation of hydraulic systems.
Hydraulic quick disconnects contain two mating parts: the male plug and the female coupling. There are several different quick disconnect configurations. One of the most common hydraulic quick disconnects is similar to quick disconnects used in pressure washers, pneumatic tools and many other utilities; they key to its operation is the sheathed female connector.
The sheath on the female connector is retractable, which allows for the movement of several bearings that are used to keep the male part in place when connected. There are many other quick disconnect fitting options. Some common designs include push-on, threaded and twist. Shut-off valves are built into the mechanism in order to prevent any hydraulic fluid from escaping while the connection is made or broken.
The majority of hydraulic quick disconnects are composed of metal materials such as brass, aluminum and stainless steel. However, plastic materials have become more common due to their resistance to corrosion. In addition to the wide selection of materials offered, hydraulic quick disconnects are available in a wide variety of sizes and pressure capacities. These devices enable tools or devices to be connected to the system without the loss of pressure.