Being Safe With Quick Couplings
Enabling fast and easy connections, quick release couplings come in many names. The couplings provide easy connection and separation of fluid transmissions lines. They are normally they can be operated manually. Although relatively safe, there are some dangers revolving around quick release if not properly installed or improperly selected. Dangers include high velocity fluid discharge, explosion or burning of conveyed fluid or couplings being jettisoned at high speeds.
I feel like a lot of things that can be potentially dangerous are easily avoidable if the equipment is handled properly. The weakest points in pipelines are where they connect so it is very important that quick connect couplings are adequate to keep pressure losses to a minimum. Among the dangerous I previously stated, hoses could whip around dangerously, fluids conveyed may be dangerous or moving objects could all the sudden fall on unsuspecting employees. Earlier this year a Nuclear power plant was shut down due to leaks in the piping system, although this was related to the tube not the couplings.
Personally a lot of these dangers sound pretty scary, but if the couplings are properly implemented there should be no problems. First thing is to consult the safety guide provided by quick release coupling manufacturers. Both the person responsible for selecting the proper couplings and the person to use the coupling should have a copy of the correlating safety guide. It’s important to know if the coupling is suitable to seal various fluids that may be toxic or flammable.
To prevent contamination during disuse, use caps and plugs on the couplings. A fail-safe mode should also be designed in case problems do occur so hoses or the couplings don’t endanger anyone. It’s also important to note that couplings from different manufacturers may not be completely compatible. However, in the event the couplings are, the lowest pressure rating out of the two couplings should not be exceeded.