The tiniest equipment components are as critical as those a thousand times their size. Particularly under extreme conditions, every link in the chain, big or small, is on trial.
The fluid conveyance system connections that you rely on to withstand harsh conditions have been under increasing scrutiny as changing applications raise the ante for durability. Additionally, competitive pressures and higher labor costs make downtime less tolerable. These and other trends have raised awareness that traditional products are not fully meeting all of the reliability requirements for these connections.
Limitations of traditional fittings
Many traditionally used fitting connections have some limitations associated with them. These limitations include things like sometimes challenging, labor-intensive maintenance, and the difficulty and inconsistency in assembly or replacement that can often result in tube deformation and damage, as well as costly leaks.
The O-ring face seal fitting design was developed over 30 years ago to address some of these traditional fitting limitations. This design has a flat face with an elastomeric seal, that creates leak-free industrial connection solutions, that are easy to assemble and replace. However, the elastomeric seal can see performance issues under extreme temperatures -- conditions that are better withstood only by metals.
So, the specific challenge for our engineering team was to create a sealing technology that could withstand the extreme temperature requirements, which is the limiting factor with elastomeric sealing, and still maintain the ease of assembly for which the O-ring face seal fitting is known. The design would need to be easy to assemble, disassemble and reassemble. Of course, it would still need to maintain the high performance of O-ring face seal fittings, such as zero leakage under high pressure and vibration, and resistance to damage due to over torque, among other benefits.
An alternative to meet rigorous new demands
Where did we find the solution? In the details, of course. Just as the perfect curve of an airplane wing makes the difference between a flying machine and 300 tons of gravity-laden metal, our solution ultimately depended on a simple new sealing ring design, from which our new Seal-LokTM Xtreme fitting was created
We designed a precision, stainless steel seal that utilizes the geometry of the fitting groove to provide a captive seal, making assembly easy, whatever the fitting orientation. This seal was manufactured to meet high surface conformity and strength specifications. We then subjected it to thermal cycle and shock, helium mass spectrometer and gas pressure leakage testing, as well as other tests required under the standard industry SAE J1453.
This o-ring face seal fitting, used with the patented new stainless steel seal, exceeded every expectation it was designed to meet.
And in November of 2016 we were awarded a patent for the Seal-Lok Xtreme stainless steel sealing ring. Today, we offer a full line of these extreme temperature flat face seal fittings, including an SAE port end with metal seal.
Dependability under duress
Seal-Lok Xtreme fittings offer benefits to meet tough performance challenges and broad industry applications:
- Retains sealing capabilities at temperatures as low as -328 °C (200°F) or as high as 650° C (1200°F).
- End-to-end zero clearance mating for maintenance and replacement that is a breeze. With no need to pull tube ends out of fittings, disassembly for maintenance is easier and quicker. This is ideal for instrument panels with tight dimensions and larger venues with serpentine tubing installation.
- Utilizes a torque wrench for intuitive, easy assembly and consistent results from worker to worker and joint to joint, whether in the field or factory, first time, every time.
- Maintains optimal performance under high vibration and pressures of up to 6,000 psi.
- Resists damage due to over torque, ensuring your fitting connections are not compromised.
As we all learn, often the hard way, details matter. Developing the stainless steel seal, which lead to our Seal-Lok Xtreme fittings, is our way of getting the details of versatile, high-performance fitting assemblies right.
Parker has this. You can get on with bigger things.
If you have any questions or comments, please post them and we will respond if warranted. To talk to myself or our engineering team directly, we can be reached at Parker Tube Fittings Division, 614.279.7070.
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Contributed by Nathan Green, engineer at Parker Tube Fittings Division