Ello Poppet – A Coupling to Keep Liquids at Bay
When I hear the word “poppet” I instantly reminisce about the scene in the first Pirates of the Caribbean, were the two goofy pirates are looking for Elizabeth Swan. Other people may think of Pinocchio or the elaborate puppets created by Jim Henson, from Kermit the Frog to the creatures in Labyrinth. As cool as all those things are, the term “puppet or poppet” does not only refer to pet names and manipulated people, places or things. A poppet coupling or valve is actually very crucial to the workings of dry disconnect couplings and many other hydraulic couplings.
Before I go any further I wish to acknowledge that “poppet” is an older spelling of “puppet”, both of which are derived from the Middle English word “popet”. That is why I use them interchangeably, although nowadays “puppet” refers to inanimate objects and “poppet” is usually depicting the valve. I figured it was worth explaining because I got a little confused while writing this post.
In a few earlier blog posts it was mentioned that dry disconnect couplings allow safe fueling of airplanes and trains. These couplings are easily operated by hand and prevent leakage. One of the most common applications used to control flow is the poppet couplings. These couplings consist of both a male and female end. The male end is equipped with a need like protuberance. This will be inserted into the rubber diaphragm of the female coupling. Once the male end is through, a ring of ball bearings will hold the male coupler in place.
Liquids such as fuel, chemicals or water will then flow unimpeded from the female end to the male end. When it is time to disconnect, the male end is pulled away and the ball bearings retract from the ridges along the male end. The diaphragm prevents fluid from leaving the female end as pressure pops the male end out. These couplings easy to operate and manufacture, making them one of the most commonly used applications for hydraulic couplers.