Metal Matters: How to Combat Hydraulic Fitting Corrosion
Friday, March 17, 2017
Refined metals (such as steel, stainless steel, and brass) do not naturally occur and over time tend to revert to their more stable mineral forms. This process is called corrosion – the gradual destruction of refined metals by chemical and/or electrochemical reactions within their environment. While considered a natural, inevitable process, it’s still a consideration to production and product development. Hydraulic fitting manufacturers, like Air-Way Manufacturing, prevent corrosion by controlling the design, protective coating, and material selection of every fitting made.
When selecting the right manufacturing material and/or protective plating for hydraulic fittings, consider the type of fluid that will be flowing through the fitting, at what pressure, and what temperature both the internal and external environment will be functioning at.
Refined Metal Comparisons
Hydraulic fitting materials must have the right strength and corrosion resistance to safely handle high pressure environments typical of hydraulic systems. Metal fittings are generally used with most hydraulic systems due to their high-pressure ratings. Some plastics can have a higher resistance to corrosion, but their lower strength and durability make them poorly suited for hydraulic systems.
Four common metal materials used for fittings are carbon steel, stainless steel, brass, and aluminum.
- Carbon Steel: Carbon steel is durable, strong, and maintains a high resistance to heat. An alloy of iron and carbon, carbon steel hydraulic fittings are lower cost and frequently used in the agricultural, industrial, and construction sector because of their affinity to high pressure, high strength environments.
- Stainless Steel: Stainless steel displays the same strength and durability of carbon steel while also providing excellent corrosion resistance. It’s considered the most suitable material for hydraulic fitting applications where the fluids and/or external environments are highly corrosive. At low pressure specifically, stainless steel is your best bet.
- Brass: Brass has a moderate strength level with good corrosion resistance in lower pressure situations. This kind of refined metal is typically used for smaller compression and threaded fittings. It is not recommended for temperatures higher than 400 degrees as it becomes soft and loses strength.
- Aluminum: Aluminum is light weight and corrosion resistant. It’s commonly used in low density, low pressure applications and can be alloyed with zinc, copper, silicon, etc. to improve strength. Aluminum can handle a higher pressure than brass and is a good choice for lightweight applications.
Corrosion Resistant Plating and Coatings
External plating or coating can be applied to carbon steel hydraulic fittings to extend their life in highly corrosive environments that use harsh medias such as salt sprays and fertilizers.
At Air-Way Global Manufacturing we offer three primary plating options:
- Electroless nickel
- Zinc nickel
- Electrodeposited zinc.
Standard to all steel hydraulic fittings manufactured by Air-Way, the new electrodeposited zinc trivalent plating offers a significantly higher corrosion resistance rating when compared to its predecessor – zinc with hexavalent chromate. Withstanding white corrosion for 240 hours and red corrosion for 360 hours, its longevity and high resistance to corrosion make it an excellent coating for all our steel fittings.
Company Video: The Air-Way WayAir-Way Global Manufacturing continues to be an industry leader by supplying hydraulic fittings and adapters in an ever-changing global marketplace. Flexibility, expertise and dedication to customer service make Air-Way Global Manufacturing the best choice when it comes to delivering parts on time and on spec – anywhere in the world. “Any piece of equipment that has hydraulic systems on it, Air-Way has been involved with. We’ve been selling to the hydraulic industry for over 70 years now.” ~John Hamm, President of Manufacturing and Engineering for Air-Way Manufacturing
Hydraulic Adapters Tough Enough for the Construction IndustryHydraulic systems on heavy equipment are under pressure. So are the construction workers and equipment operators on the job site. We work with OEMs to provide technical engineering design to ensure you have the right hydraulic fittings for your application. Here at Air-Way Global Manufacturing, we are pleased to offer a variety of hydraulic fittings for the companies who build, maintain and repair the heavy equipment used in construction.
We’re Headed to ConExpo 2020If you’ve ever attended ConExpo in the past, you know it is an incredible opportunity to connect with vendors, manufacturers, and potential customers. Our staff is looking forward to ConExpo 2020, which will be held March 10-14. Visit our booth to learn more about our company, and the many hydraulic solutions we provide to some of the top OEMs in the world. Our team is excited about sharing how our technical engineering and design staff, can support our customers with hydraulic solutions for their specific applications.