Six vital things you must know about dry disconnect couplings
1. Pressure ratings – Pressure ratings are important because the transfer pressure determines how quickly a chemical or gas transfer is completed. An incorrect pressure rating creates safety risks, and the coupler must be able to handle short high-pressure spikes as well. The standard pressure rating for the SAS is 363 PSI for stainless steel and 232 PSI for aluminum units, far superior to the vast majority of other industry couplers.
2. Connection type – There are two primary coupler connection types: threads and flanges. There is also a range of versions within each type. The important thing to remember when buying a threaded coupler is the distinction between NPT threads, used mostly in North America, and BSP threads, used throughout the rest of the world. This is tricky, because they look the same, but are incompatible. The SAS employs NPT threads, BSP threads, and ANSI flanges.
3. Construction material – Most couplers, including the SAS, are manufactured out of aluminum or stainless steel. Standard applications generally employ aluminum couplers, whereas the stainless steel units are used for more aggressive media and LPG applications. Not all dry disconnect couplers are made from pure aluminum or stainless steel, so it is important to always check the amount of gunmetal or brass used in their manufacture.
4. Coupling process – Before buying couplings, be sure to compare the different coupling processes with an eye to complexity versus simplicity. The simplest coupling process is the best. It reduces operator error, user time, spills, accidents, and costs. A common example of a more complex coupler is one that requires the use of cam arms and levers.
5. Manufacturing process – Today’s couplers are manufactured by either casting or machining. Casting couplers is the cheapest and most popular option. Machining couplers yields higher-quality products. The SAS is always machined out of bar stock, a manufacturing process that represents the highest standard available in the industry.
6. Quality certificates – The last and most important thing you need to do before buying dry disconnect couplings is to check for the appropriate-quality approvals and certificates that come with the competing products.
Look for the following before you commit:
1 – An ISO 9001:2008 certificate, which indicates a high quality manufacturing company & process.
2 – A TUV certificate, which certifies the quality of each individual product. Every separate product line should have its own TUV certification.
3 – An ATEX certificate, when appropriate, is also a must. This is the directive for equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.