A pneumatic fitting is a blanket term that covers any type of connector for linking together the devices or working components in a compressed air or gas system. Together with hoses and tubing, they are a fundamental part of the automated pneumatic system, without which it would just be a collection of discrete devices. Pneumatic fittings and tubing can also have a critical impact on the entire system's safety, efficiency and energy consumption.
The array of available fixtures is often bewildering, with a different tube or connector for every type of job or situation. At Rowse Pneumatics we have a huge amount of experience in supplying pneumatic fittings and tubing, and we can help you choose the right ones for your application. We can advise you on how to select the appropriate materials, dimensions, thread types, and pressure requirements, plus any necessary approvals you might require.
We stock a wide variety of pneumatic fittings and tubing at Rowse Pneumatics, which are divided into the following core types:
‘Push-in fittings’ is another blanket term that refers generally to compression or quick connect fittings, requiring no tools and being easily removable. They form a seal by means of a resilient O-ring and a grip ring that keeps the connected tube or hose in place. Push-in fittings are usually used to make simple, fast connections in low-pressure pneumatic applications.
We can supply push-in fittings for compressed air, vacuum or water, made of nickel-plated brass or stainless steel, of food-safe standard or resistant to welding and chemicals. Push-in fittings are available in multiple configurations, including straight, elbow, cross, T and Y, as well as various configurations of multiple pneumatic distributor.
Threaded fittings are an ancient mechanical invention, used today for joining hoses, pipes and other pneumatic devices. Pneumatic threaded fittings used to be constructed entirely out of metal, but these have been augmented by modern plastics and polymers. These are more likely to react badly to extremes of temperature, but are non-toxic and more resistant to fatigue or corrosion. Stainless steel and threaded fittings using advanced polymers are commonly selected for hygienic environments like the food and beverage industry.
Threaded fittings are available in many types of connection, including sleeves, blanking plugs, adapters, nipple fittings, reductions and ring pieces. They can have male or female threads and be configured in elbows, Ts, crosses, hexagons and sockets. We can supply threaded fittings in a wide range of dimensions, including the engagement length, diameter and ratio of threads per centimetre or inch.
British Standard Pipe fittings are internationally standardised and in common use around the world. BSP threads are divided into BSPT (Tapered) and BSPP (Parallel). The parallel version typically has a male thread with a 30º bevel, which fits into an equivalent coned recess on the female thread. BSPP fittings sometimes need an O-ring or bonded seal washer to enforce the connection. The BSPT threads are very similar to their NPT tapered equivalents, and confusion often arises. However, NPT threads are angled at 60º on the thread flank rather than the 55º of BSP connections (both tapered and parallel).
National Pipe Thread fittings are the equivalent version of BSP, used in North America and Canada. They have the usual male and female connectors, but in the NPT version, the male thread is always tapered. The joint is sealed literally by force, with the male connector being tightened into the female thread until it's pressure-tight and then secured with a sealant. This system can gall or damage the threads, especially in stainless steel joints, if the joint is insufficiently lubricated or over-tightened.
Pneumatic tubing is the complement to the fittings, conveying the compressed air throughout the pneumatic system. Most modern automated systems use flexible tubing, as it is tough, space-saving and kink-resistant. We can supply pneumatic tubing with working pressures ranging from 0.95 to 19bar, with options available for compressed air, vacuum, water and mineral oils. Tubing is available in a wide range of materials, sizes and colour options, and in dual, spiral, flexible and economical forms. We also stock versions that are flame-retardant or resistant to chemicals and hydrolysis.