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7 Steps to Complete Hydraulic Hose Crimping

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Hydraulic hose crimping is a critical process in various industries, ensuring secure and leak-proof connections in systems like hydraulics, pneumatics, and other fluid conveyance systems.

Step 1: Selection of Hose and Fittings

Determine the Application Requirements:

  • Understand the specific needs of your hydraulic system, including the type of fluid being transported, operating pressure, temperature range, and environmental conditions (such as exposure to chemicals, UV light, or extreme temperatures).

Identify the Proper Hose Material and Type:

  • Based on the fluid type, choose a hose material compatible to prevent degradation. Common materials include synthetic rubber, thermoplastics, and PTFE.
  • Consider the hose type needed for your application, such as braided, spiral, or multi-purpose.

Consider Hose Flexibility and Bend Radius:

  • Ensure the hose has enough flexibility for your application and note the minimum bend radius to avoid kinking or hose fatigue.

Selecting the Right Fittings:

types of fittings
  • Match the fittings to the hose type and size. Fittings come in various types like JIC, NPT, ORFS, and flange fittings.
  • The fitting material should also be compatible with the hydraulic fluid and the environmental conditions.

Check Pressure Ratings:

  • Both the hose and the fittings should have a pressure rating that meets or exceeds the maximum operating pressure of the hydraulic system.

Size Appropriately:

  • Choose the correct hose inner diameter for proper flow velocity. An undersized hose can cause excessive pressure drops, while an oversized hose may lead to sluggish system performance.
  • The fittings should correspond to the hose size and the thread or connection type required for your equipment.

Consult Manufacturer Specifications and Standards:

  • Refer to the manufacturer’s specifications for compatibility, pressure ratings, and other important factors.
  • Adhere to relevant standards (like SAE, ISO, or DIN) that apply to hydraulic hoses and fittings in your region or industry.

Step 2: Cutting the Hose

Measure the Hose Length:

  • Determine the required length of the hose for your application. Remember to consider the entire length of the assembly, including the fittings and any necessary allowances for hose movement and bending.

Select the Right Cutting Tool:

  • Use a sharp, clean cutting tool designed specifically for hydraulic hoses. Options include a hydraulic hose cutting saw, which provides a clean, square cut, or a sharp knife or blade for smaller hoses. Avoid using general-purpose tools as they may not provide a clean cut.

Mark the Cutting Point:

  • Clearly mark the point where you intend to cut the hose. Use a non-permanent marker or tape for accuracy.
cutting point

Secure the Hose:

  • Clamp the hose lightly in a vice or similar holding device to keep it steady during cutting. Ensure it’s secure but not so tight as to crush or deform the hose.

Cutting the Hose:

  • Cut the hose perpendicular to its length to ensure a square end. This is important for a proper fit into the fitting and to avoid leaks.
  • If using a saw, let the blade do the work without applying excessive force, which can cause a jagged cut or hose damage.
hydraulic hose cutting

Check the Cut:

  • After cutting, inspect the end of the hose. The cut should be straight and clean without frayed wires or uneven surfaces.
  • If the cut is not satisfactory, trim the hose end again to correct any issues.

Clean the Hose End:

  • Immediately after cutting, clean the hose end to remove any debris or metal particles. This can usually be done by gently tapping the hose and using compressed air to blow out the interior.
  • Ensuring the hose is clean is crucial to prevent contamination of the hydraulic system.

Cap the Hose Ends:

  • If not assembling immediately, cap the ends of the hose to prevent contamination.

Step 3: Preparing the Hose End:

Inspect the Hose:

  • Begin by inspecting the hose for any defects or damage. Ensure the hose is in good condition and suitable for use.

Clean the Hose:

  • Clean the outside of the hose to remove any dirt, debris, or contaminants that might have accumulated. This helps in achieving a clean and secure fit with the fittings.

Mark the Insertion Depth:

  • Determine the correct insertion depth for the fitting. This is typically specified by the fitting manufacturer.
  • Mark the hose at the appropriate depth to ensure that the fitting is inserted correctly.

Prepare the Hose End (if required):

  • Some hose types may require the removal of a portion of the outer cover to properly fit the fitting. This is commonly known as ‘skiving’. The skiving process can be done manually or with a machine, depending on the hose type and size.
  • Non-skive hoses do not require this step. Ensure you know whether your hose requires skiving.

Strip the Hose (if Skiving is Required):

  • If skiving is necessary, carefully remove the outer layer and/or inner layer of the hose to expose the reinforcement. Be careful not to damage the reinforcement wires or layers.
  • The length of the hose to be skived should be consistent with the length of the fitting’s shell or ferrule.

Clean the Hose Interior:

  • After skiving, use compressed air to blow out any debris from the inside of the hose. This step is crucial to prevent contamination of the hydraulic system.
  • If compressed air is not available, gently tap the hose to remove loose debris and then visually inspect the inside.

Lubricate if Necessary:

  • Some fittings may require lubrication before insertion into the hose. Use a lubricant that is compatible with the hose material and the hydraulic fluid.
  • Apply a small amount of lubricant to the inside of the hose or the outside of the fitting, as recommended by the manufacturer.

Step 4: Inserting the Fitting

Lubricate the Fitting and Hose End:

  • Apply a small amount of hydraulic fluid or a suitable lubricant to the inside of the hose and the outside of the fitting. This facilitates easier insertion and helps prevent damage to the hose lining.

Align the Fitting with the Hose:

  • Carefully align the fitting with the hose end. Ensure that the fitting is straight in relation to the hose to avoid any twisting or misalignment.

Insert the Fitting:

  • Begin to insert the fitting into the hose by hand. Push it in with a twisting motion to ease the entry. Be gentle to avoid damaging the hose or the fitting.

Ensure Correct Insertion Depth:

  • Push the fitting into the hose until it reaches the previously marked insertion depth. This ensures that the fitting is properly seated inside the hose.
  • Some fittings have a visual indicator, like a line or a ridge, to show when it’s fully inserted.

Verify the Insertion:

  • Once the fitting is fully inserted, double-check that it has reached the correct depth. An improperly seated fitting can lead to leaks or hose failure.

Secure the Fitting (If Applicable):

  • For some types of fittings, additional steps may be required to secure them in place before crimping. This could include tightening a collar or using a lockwire, depending on the fitting design.

Prepare for Crimping:

  • After the fitting is correctly inserted, the hose assembly is now ready to be crimped. Ensure that the fitting is not disturbed or moved out of place before crimping.
crimping machine preparing

Avoid Forceful Insertion:

  • If the fitting does not insert easily, do not force it. This could damage both the hose and the fitting. Recheck the hose and fitting sizes, lubrication, and condition to troubleshoot the issue.

Step 5: Setting Up the Crimping Machine

Select the Correct Die Set:

  • Choose a die set that corresponds to the size of the hose and the fitting. The die set selection is typically based on the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Incorrect die selection can result in a poor crimp, leading to leaks or hose failure.

Install the Dies in the Crimping Machine:

  • Carefully install the selected dies into the crimping machine. Ensure they are positioned correctly and securely locked in place.
  • Each die should be properly aligned and evenly spaced.
crimping machine dies

Calibrate the Crimping Machine:

  • Many crimping machines require calibration or setting adjustments based on the hose and fitting combination.
  • Consult the manufacturer’s crimp specifications for the correct crimp diameter and adjust the machine accordingly.
  • Some modern crimping machines have digital controls and readouts for precise settings.

Perform a Test Crimp (if necessary):

  • If you’re using a new hose/fitting combination, or if you’re unsure of the settings, perform a test crimp on a scrap piece of hose.
  • Measure the diameter of the crimped portion with calipers to ensure it matches the specifications.

Ensure the Machine is Clean and Functional:

  • Regularly maintain and clean the crimping machine to ensure its optimal performance. Check for any signs of wear or damage.

Position the Hose Assembly:

  • Place the hose and fitting assembly into the crimping machine, aligning the fitting according to the crimp depth specified by the manufacturer.
  • Ensure that the hose is not twisted and the fitting is properly seated in the dies.

Crimping Process:

  • Activate the crimping machine to start the crimping process. The machine will compress the fitting onto the hose.
  • Once the crimp is complete, the machine will typically release or open automatically.

Inspect the Crimp:

  • After crimping, inspect the hose assembly to ensure the crimp is uniform and according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Look for any signs of damage or irregularities.

Step 6: Hydraulic Hose Crimping

Review Manufacturer’s Specifications:

  • Before starting, consult the manufacturer’s specifications for the correct crimp diameter and other relevant details for the hose and fitting combination you are using.

Position the Hose in the Crimping Machine:

  • Place the hose assembly into the crimping machine. Align the fitting and the hose according to the markings or guidelines specified by the manufacturer. Ensure that the hose is not twisted and is seated evenly in the machine.
hydraulic hose crimping

Secure the Hose Assembly:

  • Clamp down the hose assembly within the crimping machine to prevent it from moving during the crimping process.

Activate the Crimping Machine:

  • Turn on the crimping machine. Engage the crimping process, ensuring that the machine applies even pressure around the circumference of the fitting.
  • Monitor the crimping process to ensure that it is proceeding smoothly without any irregularities.

Complete the Crimp:

  • The machine will compress the fitting onto the hose to the preset diameter or until the machine stops automatically (in the case of automated machines).
  • Once the crimp is completed, the machine will usually release the hose assembly automatically.

Inspect the Crimped Hose:

  • After crimping, carefully inspect the hose assembly. Ensure that the crimp is uniform and meets the specifications provided by the manufacturer.
  • Measure the crimped diameter using calipers to ensure it matches the manufacturer’s specifications.

Perform a Leak Test (if applicable):

  • In some cases, it may be necessary to perform a leak test on the hose assembly, especially for critical applications.

Document the Process:

  • For quality control and future reference, it’s good practice to document the hose assembly process, including the type of hose, fittings, and crimping machine settings used.Safety Precautions:
  • Always wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection, when operating the crimping machine.
  • Ensure that all safety features of the crimping machine are functional.

Step 7: Inspection and Testing

Visual Inspection:

  • Crimp Quality: Examine the crimped area to ensure it is uniform and consistent. There should be no visible gaps or irregularities.
  • Fitting Insertion: Verify that the fittings are properly inserted and aligned with the hose. The hose should not show signs of bulging or pinching near the fittings.
  • Hose Condition: Check the hose for any signs of damage, such as cuts, abrasion, or twisting.

Measurement Verification:

  • Crimp Diameter: Measure the crimped diameter using calipers to ensure it matches the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Length: Confirm that the overall length of the hose assembly meets the required specifications.

Pressure Testing:

  • Hydrostatic Testing: This involves filling the hose with a non-compressible fluid and applying pressure to check for leaks, bursts, and other weaknesses.
  • Test Pressure: The test pressure should typically be higher than the working pressure the hose will be subjected to in its application, as specified by industry standards or the manufacturer.
  • Observation: During the test, inspect the hose assembly for any leaks or expansions. Any failure during this test indicates a problem with the assembly.

Electrical Continuity Test (if applicable):

  • For hoses that require electrical continuity (like those used in applications susceptible to static charge), test for electrical continuity between the end fittings.

Certification and Documentation:

  • Document the results of the inspection and testing for quality assurance and traceability. This documentation may include the date of assembly, materials used, test results, and the operator’s name.
  • Certify the hose assembly if it meets all the necessary specifications and standards.

Post-Test Inspection:

  • After pressure testing, conduct another visual inspection to ensure no damage occurred during testing.

Cleaning:

  • After testing, especially hydrostatic testing, ensure the hose is properly drained and cleaned, if necessary, to remove testing fluids.

Safety Precautions:

  • Always follow safety guidelines during testing, especially when dealing with high pressures.
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure that the testing area is secure.
How to Crimp Hydraulic Hose?

Reference

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Crimp a Hydraulic Hose

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