Why Dry-Disconnect Couplers are Safer than Hammer Unions
The Dangerous Results of a Blowout
Hammer unions are sometimes hard to tell apart, since they come in different sizes and shapes. For this reason, most manufacturers use a complex color-coding system. In spite of careful coding, expensive, sometimes deadly accidents do occur, with far-reaching results, all because of the similarities in appearance of hammer unions.
The crux of the problem is visual, not actual, compatibility. An operator can easily connect the wrong hammer union, because the design does not prevent it, only the color-coding. Then, if the line is subjected to enough pressure, incidents can occur.
When union halves blow apart, three immediate hazards may be created:
- The unit becomes a heavy projectile striking personnel or property.
- High-pressure fluids are released which may strike an employee in their path.
- Acids, oils, fuels, and other toxic fluids may explode uncontrollably, injuring operators or compromising the immediate environment.
Problem solved – SAS dry-disconnect couplers are designed to fit only into the proper NATO STANAG style connection, and no other. The SAS is fully compatible with all leading dry-disconnect couplings that employ the same NATO STANAG sizing standard.
Other Hammer-Union Hazards and SAS Safety Solutions
- Emissions – Hammer unions have no valve to hold back chemicals during the separation process. This allows for emissions of potentially toxic fluids and gases. The SAS dry-disconnect coupling automatically holds back chemicals during the disconnect process, leaving behind virtually no residue product.
- Process errors – Connecting a hammer union requires time and, in some cases, a sizable hammer. Using the SAS is simple and requires no tools, completely bypassing accidents that occur when a heavy hammer is used.
- Hammer injuries – The hammer itself can injure an operator’s hands or feet, and even has a propensity to bounce off the line and strike the operator directly in the head. SAS’ OneMotion coupling technology eliminates the need for hammering, and with it, hammer injuries.
When choosing a coupling system, consider the risk factors outlined above. SAS is one of the safest solutions in the industry.