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Swaged Hose Fittings VS Compression Fittings

Hydraulic hoses and fittings come in different types. One way to differentiate them is to consider their manufacturing and installation methods. And swaging and compression are two popular methods.

swafed fittings vs compression fittings

By looking at a swaged hose fitting and a compression fitting, it is hard to tell the difference. But they are, indeed, different. Read on as we compare swaged hose fittings vs compression fittings. We look at what they are, their differences, their similarities, and which is the best.

What Are Swaged Hose Fittings?

Swaged fittings work with swaged hoses. You join both hose and fittings with a swaging tool or swaging machine. Hence, the fittings get their name from the swaging process.

Swaging is a relatively straightforward process. It involves joining the hose and fitting it by pushing them through a set of dies. The set of dies is fixed, and they deform the fitting, so it attaches firmly to the hose. The result is tight sealing with a small outer diameter.

There is a simple way to identify a swaged fitting attached to a hydraulic hose. You will notice that the ferrule reduces as it gets close to the fitting. The reduction in diameter is due to the fitting passing through a swaging tool or machine.

There are two main types of swaging methods: inner swaging and outer swaging. Outer swaging, which reduces the outer diameter of the fitting, is the most common. Inner swaging, meanwhile, reduces the inner diameter of the fitting.

Outer swaging is usually for male fittings, while inter seating is for females. This is because male and female fittings have threads on the outside and inside, respectively.

Most swaged hose fittings become permanently attached to the swaged hose after assembly. But some hoses are prefabricated to work with the fittings, which will require on-field assembly. The on-field assembly is easy, as you only need common tools.

You will find swaged hose fittings that conform to different industry standards — SAE, NPT, JIC. Also, the fittings usually come in stainless steel or carbon steel or brass.

What Are Compression Fittings?

Compression fittings have a compression screw or nut, a fitting body, and one or more ferrules. They come in different designs, but all work the same way.

To install, you simply insert your hose into the end of the compression fitting and tighten the screw. In particular, the fitting body compresses the ferrule onto the hydraulic hose’s outer diameter. This forces the ferrule into the fitting body to form a leak-tight seal.

This radial compression process is why we call them compression fittings. However, note that how tight the seal is depends on the ferrule design, fitting design, and hydraulic hose type, among other factors.

From the installation process, it is clear that the most critical component of compression fittings is the ferrule. Compression fittings’ ferrules come in graphite, stainless steel, or metal materials. The majority, however, are metal to form a metal-to-metal seal, which is leak-prone.

When you hit the market for compression fittings, you will come across one-piece and two-piece ferrules. One-piece or single-ferrule compression fittings are basic. They are ideal for installation with soft materials like brass or plastic. Using them with steel or other hard materials leads to leaks.

However, two-piece ferrule compression fittings are suitable for extreme pressure and temperature applications.

One significant advantage of compression fittings is that they are relatively easy to install. They do not need special installation tools; you can install them even if it is your first time handling a hydraulic system.

As a result, compression fittings double as reusable fittings during repairs and maintenance.

Differences Between Swaged Hose Fittings and Compression Fittings

The primary difference between a swaged hose and a compression fitting is how you install them. In simple terms, it is easier to install a compression fitting than a swaged hose fitting.

Swaged hose fittings can only be installed using a swaging tool or machine. If you do not use a staging tool or machine, it is not a swaged hose fitting. And while swaging tools and machines are not overly complex, they are not very simple either.

Meanwhile, with compression fittings, you only need to tighten the screw or nut. You can do this with your hand, whether it is a one-piece or two-piece compression fitting. But in some situations, you may need a wrench to tighten the nut. Regardless, a wrench is still far easier to use than a swaging tool or machine.

As mentioned earlier, some swaged fittings are permanently attached to prefabricated swaged hoses. In other words, removing the fittings from the hose may render both components unusable.

But it is different with compression fittings. You can install and uninstall them without damaging the fittings or hydraulic hose and still use them in later applications.

However, in a way, the simple installation procedure for compression fittings puts them at a disadvantage against swaged hose fittings. Compression fittings may not hold up in applications where the hydraulic hose bends and flexes frequently.

This is because they are not robust enough. Generally, it is advisable to install compression fittings in a system where it won’t experience much disturbance. Meanwhile, swaged hose fittings are among the best in such systems.

Due to this non-robust installation, compression fittings are more prone to leaks than swaged hose fittings. Nevertheless, most brass and metal compression fittings handle high temperatures and pressures efficiently without leaking.

Similarities Between Swaged Hose Fittings and Compression Fittings

Both swaged and compression fittings work as hydraulic fittings, used with hydraulic hoses in hydraulic systems. It is the primary similarity that they share.

Another notable similarity between both is their materials. Swaged and compression fittings come in different materials, but most you will see are metal materials.

There are only a few similarities between swaged hose fittings and compression fittings as the fittings differ greatly.

Final Verdict – Which Is the Best?

Swaging, which involves using a swaging tool or machine, is a more robust process of installing hydraulic fittings than compression. Therefore, you will expect swaged hose fittings to be better than compression fittings as they are more tolerant to flexing and bending.

But at the end of the day, it all comes down to your hydraulic system. For example, a compression fitting will be best for a hydraulic system that requires occasional disassembly.

In terms of pressure and temperature, it is also subjective. Swaged hose and compression fittings come in different pressure and temperature ratings. So, simply compare your pressure and temperature requirements with that of the fittings before purchasing.

You can always consult us at Sinopulse for more guidance about hydraulic fittings.

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