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Comparison of Swaging Fittings, One-piece Fittings, and Reusable Fittings

It can be challenging to determine which one to choose if you are looking for the right hydraulic fitting. Among the many fitting types you will come across during your search are swaging, one-piece, and reusable fittings.

comparison of swaging fitting, one-piece fitting and reusable fitting

This post will look at the three fitting types, their differences, and if they are interchangeable.

What Are Swaging Fittings?

Swaging is one of the many forging processes used in manufacturing hydraulic fittings. Most often than not, it’s a cold working process and involves altering the fittings’ dimensions using die stamping. A few manufacturers employ hot working.

Hydraulic fittings made via this procedure are what we call Swaging Fittings — also, more simply, Swaged Fitting.

These fittings follow the MSS SP 95 standard, set by the Manufacturers Standardization Society. They come in different materials, including stainless steel, alloy steel, and carbon steel.

Swaging fittings are suitable for flared hydraulic hoses and pipes. These pipes and hoses are mainly designed to work with hydraulic fittings of this type.

Usually, you need a swaging machine to install swaging fittings on hydraulic hoses. The machine will compress the hose to fit the fitting, so one advantage of swaging fittings is that they connect with hoses of different sizes.

But a notable factor driving the popularity and adoption of swaging fittings is the price. They are relatively less expensive than other popular hydraulic fitting types.

One reason why swaging fittings are more affordable is that they are available in smaller sizes. Also, they come in more end sizes, even though they fit with almost any hose.

What Are One-Piece Fittings?

One-piece hydraulic fittings come with a pre-assembled shank and ring out, forming a single piece. They are different from two-piece hydraulic fittings with individual shanks and ring-outs.

With one-piece hydraulic fittings, you don’t have to worry about the collar slipping out of the alignment — one of the common causes of flange leakage. Also, there’s a low risk of matching the ferrule with the wrong hydraulic fitting type.

Like other fitting types, one-piece hydraulic fittings are mainly available in stainless steel and carbon steel. These hydraulic fittings are the go-to for quick assembly situations and basic applications.

Since the shank and ring out are one, you don’t need any specialized installation tool. It is possible to tighten them with your fingers, like rotating a nut. For this reason, some people refer to them as Fingertight Fittings.

However, not all one-piece fittings require rotating the fitting to tighten. There are also No Twist one-piece fittings, which come with an extra ferrule that snaps into the nut.

Such No-Twist one-piece fittings that don’t require rotating come in materials other than stainless steel and carbon steel. Most of them come in plastic materials like polyetheretherketone (PEEK).

Generally, there are better options than one-piece fittings for critical and high-pressure situations. In recent times, some manufacturers have attempted to produce high-pressure one-piece fittings. While some may work, a two-piece fitting is always a more reliable and safer alternative to a one-piece fitting for critical situations.

What Are Reusable Fittings?

Reusable fittings are exactly what the name says: Reusable. They often work as temporary replacements for damaged hydraulic fittings during on-site repairs. But this doesn’t mean they are not reliable. Reusable fittings still form a strong seal against the hydraulic hose when tightened.

We call them reusable fittings because you can use them many times with different hoses. Hence, they come in different sizes to match different hydraulic hose types. Other names for this type of fitting are Attachable Fittings and Field-installable Fittings.

The most common materials for reusable fittings are brass and steel. In particular, the fitting will feature a brass component with a steel body. Such sturdy materials enable them to withstand low to medium pressures.

Since they are temporary replacements, reusable fittings are relatively easy to install. Unlike many other fittings types, you don’t need a crimping machine for the installation. You only need a wrench.

Reusable fittings are must-haves for any hydraulic system to avoid downtimes. Rather than shutting down the entire system for a basic repair, installing reusable fittings will keep the system running.

Differences Between Swaging Fittings, One-Piece Fittings, and Reusable Fittings

The primary difference between swaging fittings and one-piece fittings is their installation process. For reusable fittings, on the other hand, the difference is the application.

As explained earlier, swaging involves using die stamping to alter the dimension of the fittings. But for one-piece fittings, the installation process is usually crimping.

Contrary to swaging, crimping involves deforming metal pieces to bind them together. This deformation requires a special connector. And the connector is either screwed on or attached to a metal plate with a different screw.

Nevertheless, it’s possible to install some one-piece fittings using a swaging machine. It is not entirely wrong to refer to such hydraulic fittings as swaging fittings.

Swaging fittings are more dependable for high-pressure and critical applications than one-piece fittings. In fact, some swaging fittings are particularly optimized for critical applications.

But one-piece fittings are only suitable for basic applications, which makes them notably different from swaging fittings. For reusable fittings, they are not ideal for critical or basic applications. You should only use them as a temporary replacement if any of your hydraulic fittings develops a fault during operation.

Are the Fittings Interchangeable?

Swaging fittings and one-piece fittings are not interchangeable, even though there are one-piece fittings that are also swaging fittings. Only a one-piece fitting, with a pre-assembled shank and ring out, can serve its function. Any other type of fitting won’t work.

For reusable fittings, however, it’s difficult to say they are not interchangeable with swaging or one-piece fittings. This is because there are both reusable swaging fittings and reusable one-piece fittings.

As a result, reusable fittings will work as replacements for swaging and one-piece fittings during repairs. But you shouldn’t rely on them as full-time alternatives.

Summary

Swaging fittings, reusable fittings, and one-piece fittings all have their significant differences. Understanding how they work is essential so you use them in the correct application.

To recap, swaging fittings come in different sizes and will work for various hydraulic applications. Reusable fittings work as a temporary replacement when a hydraulic fitting is faulty. One-piece fittings work for basic hydraulic applications.

Should you require further clarification on which fitting type your system needs, do not hesitate to contact us.

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