Category Archives: Hose Master

Three Affordable Ways to Upgrade Your Piping System

picture of piping system

Can I Afford to Upgrade my Piping System Now?

With everything going on in the world right now a lot of companies are prioritizing finding ways to reduce costs. Budgets are being cut, projects are getting canceled, and everyone is trying to find ways to do more with less. Given this context, it’s possible that piping system upgrades and routine maintenance may be overlooked depending on the extent of other repairs and maintenance needed in a facility. However, neglecting a piping system update can carry risks of failure and corresponding downtime, which can ultimately cost a facility. Luckily, there are a few ways to upgrade a piping system that can save time and labor and result in an overall gain for the customer. Let’s take a look at some of the options available when updating a piping system and how they can help a facility successfully balance budget and performance.

Hose Flexibility

One way to achieve an affordable piping system upgrade is to utilize a more flexible assembly. This can be done a few different ways, depending on the definition of flexibility that provides value to the customer’s application. Let’s explore some of the ways metal hoses and expansion joints can deliver flexibility.

Bend Radius

Hose Master’s single-braided Annuflex and Masterflex products are very similar, except Masterflex features more corrugations per foot. This allows Masterflex to have a smaller minimum bend radius.

One way to examine flexibility is by looking at a hose’s minimum bend radius– how tightly it’s able to be flexed without damaging the corrugations. Without changing the inner diameter (ID) or other dimensions of the hose, making a more flexible hose in this regard is often achieved by increasing the number of corrugations per foot. With more corrugations per foot a hose is able to be bent to a smaller minimum bend radius, meaning it can be bent tighter. (This is the difference between our Annuflex and our Masterflex products.)

Even if the smaller minimum bend radius is not explicitly necessary for the application, using a hose that can be bent more tightly can prove advantageous. When a hose is bent the bending stress is dived among each of the corrugations.  When using a hose with more corrugations per foot, any bending stresses exerted on the hose are broken up over a larger number of corrugations. This means that each corrugation experiences less stress as the hose cycles. Because each corrugation experiences a smaller share of stress, the assembly as a whole is likely to fatigue more slowly and see a longer working life. By providing additional working life, using a more flexible assembly by this definition can provide long-term overall cost savings.

Force to Bend

Having more corrugations per foot also allows our Masterflex (bottom) to divide bending stresses over more corrugations. This reduces stress to each individual corrugation, preserving their usable life.

Another way to look at hose flexibility is by considering the amount of force required to bend a hose. One factor that contributes to the force needed to bend a hose is wall thickness. Generally, a hose with a lesser wall thickness will require less force to bend. This may not seem like much, but from the perspective of a maintenance technician installing an 8″ ID assembly with bulky fittings can become quite cumbersome (especially if there’s more than one!)

From this perspective, using an assembly with a thinner wall that requires less exertion to bend can ultimately benefit a facility by helping their maintenance crew. By having to exert less time and energy per installation, installers can preserve their energy, install assemblies more quickly, and improve safety during hose replacements. In this case, designing an assembly with both the application and the installer in mind can ultimately create a positive return for a facility.

Recycling Fittings

Waste not, want not! If an assembly is due to be replaced and the existing flanges are still in good condition they can often be sent back to us and reused in making a new assembly thanks to our in-house machining department. Once we receive the recycled fittings, our machining department is able re-thread any fittings or machine any sealing surface to virtually like new. While this may not be appropriate for every application (depending on the media, wear, and applicable codes) it could help reduce the overall cost of replacement and is worth inquiring about.

Adding an Accessory

I know what you’re probably thinking- Accessories? Won’t that just add more to my assemblies? In the short run- yes. However, adding the right accessory to your hose can potentially help you save in the long-run by avoiding unplanned outages and unexpected repairs and improving overall working life. For example, in an environment where hoses could experience a significant amount of external damage from debris (like in a steel mill) it would be beneficial to provide some additional protection to an assembly by adding a stripwound guard. Or, if you’re conveying an abrasive media (like in some bulk transfer applications) that can gradually wear away the assembly adding a liner can help protect and preserve the internal hose wall.  Regardless of the application, there is oftentimes an accessory available that can help promote the longevity of your assemblies- just ask!

Looking for an Affordable Upgrade to Your Piping System?

If you’re in need of upgrades or replacements for your piping system, contact your local Hose Master distributor, Gallagher Fluid Seals, or reach out to Hosemaster with any questions or concerns. No matter the application, we’re ready and able to help you find ways to get better budget efficiency from your piping system.


The original article was written by Abby Svitana, Market Analyst at Hose Master.

Residual Torsional Stress: What Is It & Why It’s The Silent Killer

picture of cam forming

Why Stress over Residual Torsional Stress?

Residual torsional stress is a by-product of the helical forming process, evident by the hose’s visibly-twisted seam weld.

It’s no secret that torque is a killer for metal hose. If you’ve ever attended Hose Master University, you’ve probably heard our corporate trainer’s well-known adage- “Don’t twist the hose!” Torsional stresses are something that you want to avoid completely in all metal hose assemblies. When Hose Master inspects corrugated metal hoses and looks for torsional stress, it’s typically after installation while the hose is in service. However, we should also be concerned with torsion that can happen before installation during the manufacturing process. This is referred to as residual torsional stress.

Residual torsional stress (RTS) is problematic because it accelerates fatigue to the metal, thus reducing the ultimate service life of the hose. A key indication of RTS is when a hose has a visibly twisted seam weld. Despite the issues created by RTS, it is inherent in many hose forming processes used today The only way to prevent RTS in metal hose is through avoiding the use of manufacturing methods that cause it. Let’s explore some of the ways residual torsional stress can be created during manufacturing. Continue reading Residual Torsional Stress: What Is It & Why It’s The Silent Killer

Can I Use a Metal Hose for Food Applications?

That’s a Tricky Question…

A question we are frequently asked by our customers is “Can I use a metal hose for food-related applications?” It’s a simple question, but the answer isn’t always so simple.

The quick answer is no, metal hose generally cannot be used for the transfer of food-grade materials. This has nothing to do with the capabilities of the manufacturer or the quality of materials used in the hose. On the contrary, while the steel used may indeed be “food-grade,” the corrugations in the hose can potentially trap food media and make it difficult to clean the hose to the proper standard. Instead, you typically see PTFE hoses in these types of applications. The only exception to this would be if the media is at a temperature high enough to kill off any bacteria, which may allow for a metal hose to be used in some cases.

However, just because metal hose generally cannot be used to transfer food-grade materials does not mean that there are not applications for metal hose elsewhere in production! You just have to know where to look for them…

Metal Hose for Food Industry Applications

Clean in Place Systems

A key component of food production that requires the use of metal hose is clean-in-place (CIP) systems. Clean-in-place systems serve as a way to clean and sanitize the internal surface of a piping system as part of the routine cleaning of the production line or when production is being changed over to a different product. These systems utilize steam and chemicals (such as sodium hydroxide) to clean the piping system, which can be hard on any non-metal hoses that are used in the system. Instead, non-metal hoses are removed to be cleaned separately and metal hoses are installed in their place during the cleaning process. These metal hoses are better suited to handle the high heat and caustic cleaning solution running through the system, making metal hose an optimal solution for this application. Continue reading Can I Use a Metal Hose for Food Applications?

Coal-Fired Power Vacuum – The Importance of Flexible Piping Products

It’s no news that coal-fired generation is going by the way-side.  Despite a recent resurgence in political support, coal is fighting an uphill battle on two major fronts: economically and environmentally.  After the shale gas boom in the 2000’s, plummeting natural gas prices and rising environmental concerns have continued to make operating aging coal-fired plants less and less attractive – for owners and consumers alike. The recent slowdown issues with the pandemic are only exacerbating the conditions – as industrial and commercial sectors are the greatest consumers of electricity.  With only the cleanest and most efficient plants left in operation (in 2010 coal generated 45% of the nation’s electricity, compared to 24% by the end of 2019) and the rest quickly moving towards eventual closure, we are witnessing a tremendous shift take place.  So how is this shift going to resolve and what should we expect?

picture of cooling towers

Long-Term Changes

Fortunately for us in 2020 – the shift away from coal has been happening long enough that new generation capacity has already been under construction and is coming online just in time to replace the retiring coal plants.  The economic downturn effecting industry has showed an acceleration in these trends – but natural gas and renewable outputs have been rising to pick up the slack for over a decade.  In fact, the U.S. has been somewhat lagging behind in terms of progress towards renewables with some European countries already shutting down the last of their coal-fired plants.  Though domestic renewables are indeed growing significantly – having nearly doubled in power production in the past ten years, and are expected to double-over again and overtake natural gas by 2050. Continue reading Coal-Fired Power Vacuum – The Importance of Flexible Piping Products

Don’t Get Burned with the Wrong Hydraulic Hose

picture of hot cokeIn modern steelmaking, heat rules. Heat changes coal into coke, melts ore into liquid iron, and converts iron into steel. All of these products must be transported from one process to the next, and hydraulic power units (HPUs) are employed to provide that power. Hydraulic hoses provide flexible connections between the HPUs and the equipment they power, and this is where problems can arise. Heat and hydraulics do not mix, and hydraulic power systems can experience premature hose failures unless a proactive approach is taken.

Most steel is made using one of two processes. The first is an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF), which uses scrap steel as the main feedstock. The scrap is charged into the furnace, where huge electrodes create an arc of electricity that melts the charge so it can then be refined and processed into the desired alloy. The second process is an integrated mill, where Blast Furnaces supply liquid iron to a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF). Blast Furnaces primarily use coke, iron ore, and limestone as feedstock.

Worldwide, the Blast Furnace/Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF/BOF) process accounts for 3/4 of all steel produced, while in the U.S.A. this process only accounts for only about a third of steelmaking capacity. The majority of steel made in the U.S. is produced using EAFs, due to the economies they provide. Nevertheless, integrated mills won’t disappear any time soon, so it’s important to understand where hoses work…and where they can fail.

Before Coke, There Was Coal

In an integrated steel mill, liquid iron is the precursor of refined steel. Liquid iron is made in a blast furnace, using iron ore, limestone, and coke. This coke is produced using a special grade of coal called metallurgical coal, or coking coal. Metallurgical coal is usually a blend of coal from various sources, in order to achieve the correct content of energy, ash, and moisture. This coal is then conditioned and put into coke ovens, where multiple ovens are typically positioned side-by-side, forming a coke oven battery. The coal is then heated without consuming it completely by controlling the air intake. This converts the coal into hard, porous, carbon-rich coke.
The doors to the coke ovens, the dampers controlling air intake, and the mechanism that pushes the coke out of the oven are typically operated using hydraulics, and if the hot coke falls onto a rubber or thermoplastic hydraulic hose, bad things can happen. Corrugated metal hydraulic hoses are great for this application, as they resist the effects of orange-hot coke, and provide the best combination of high working pressures and great flexibility, all at a great value.

Quench Your Thirst

Once this coke is ready for use, it is pushed out of the coke oven and taken to a quenching tower for cooling. Special rail cars called quench cars are used to take the hot coke to the quench tower, where it is cooled using water or an inert gas, such as nitrogen. The cooled coke is then released from the quench car using hydraulically actuated dumping mechanisms, where hose damage can occur if hot coke drops onto the hydraulic hoses. Some systems use mechanical conveying systems to transfer the coke to the quenching mechanism, and high ambient heat conditions may be present here as well. Metal hoses provide rugged resistance to these extreme operating environments.

When It’s Hot

Moving on to the steelmaking side of things, there are many more applications where metal hoses outperform non-metallic options, from the conversion furnaces to the casters to hot strip mills. Whether conveying water, steam, or hydraulic fluid, corrugated metal hose provides long-lasting, worry-free service in hot, corrosive conditions. Metal hoses do not suffer from cracking or blistered covers like rubber hoses can, and don’t have any permeation issues. Metal hose assemblies feature a welded construction, providing fire resistance and positive fitting retention. External covers can be added to protect metal hose from molten splash. Insulating sleeves can be used to protect the media being conveyed from high ambient heat radiating from newly-cast steel. Metal expansion joints can replace cooling hoses on the EAF roof, reducing failures and leaks. High-pressure hoses like our PressureMax HP are great for hydraulic electrode clamping systems, pinch rolls, and descaling hoses. The list goes on and on.

Hose Master is the industry expert in solving the toughest applications in the harshest environments. We can help you identify problems in the field, but we don’t stop there. Our application expertise, engineering assistance, and expansive product line maximize service life, reliability, and safety. When the heat is on, let Hose Master help you by providing the best products with unbeatable service. Give us a call today.


The original article was written by Frank Caprio, Corporate Trainer – Major Market Specialist at Hose Master.

For more information about metal hose products or to see which metal hose may be a good fit for your application, please contact Gallagher Fluid Seals today.

Properly Measure Metal Hose Length: An Important Factor

Long Enough? Measuring Metal Hose Assemblies

There are several important factors to note when designing a metal hose assembly: alloy, fittings, media, pressure, and so on. One of the most crucial factors that is often taken for granted in industrial applications is hose length.  Utilizing the incorrect length in an assembly can be detrimental to its cycle life and potentially result in failure in an assembly.  If an assembly is too short, there is potential for the corrugation geometry to be deformed as the assembly is stretched between the connecting points.  Conversely, if an assembly is too long it risks being over-bent as the hose tries to move out of its own way. To avoid these unnecessary failures, let’s review the steps for properly measuring metal hose assemblies.

How to Measure Metal Hose Assemblies

picture of OAL and live length

To calculate the proper length of an assembly, it is first necessary to verify that the existing installation was properly designed.  Indication of improper design are factors such as torsion, over-bending, or compression of the assembly, which can lead to premature failure.

Next, you will need to measure the overall length (OAL) of the assembly. The overall length is the total length of the assembly from end-to-end. When measuring for overall length it is important to be aware that the points from which measurement should be taken vary between fitting types.  Measuring for overall length from an incorrect point on a fitting would result in an inaccurate measurement. How to measure various fitting types are as follows:

  • JIC/SAE Fittings: Measure from the seat of the fitting
  • Elbows: Measure to the center line of the fitting
  • Fixed Flanges: Measure to the face of the flange
  • Floating Flanges: Measure to the face of the stub end
  • Threaded Fittings: Measure to the end of the fitting

Finally, make sure that there is enough live length in the assembly to accommodate the required movements during service.  The live length is the portion of the assembly that is “active,” or has the ability to flex while in service. There are various formulas available to help calculate these length requirements. Hose Master’s in-house engineers can also assist in making these calculations. If it is determined that the existing live length is insufficient to accommodate the required movements, then engineering can provide expertise in appropriately adjusting the overall length of the design.

Utilizing these guidelines when measuring metal hose assemblies will help to ensure that an assembly is designed to sufficiently support the intended application.

Meeting the Tightest Tolerances

picture of measurements with various fittings
This picture illustrates how to measure for overall length on assemblies with various fittings.

After proper measurement and design, it is important for a metal hose assembly to meet certain tolerance requirements as well. NAHAD sets guidelines for metal hose manufacturers in regards to the length tolerances to which a finished hose assembly must conform. Hose Master is able to hold to these tolerances, as well as tighter specifications when the application requires. Adhering to these strict tolerances in a completed assembly not only allows for solutions to the most stringent of applications, but also aids in providing maximum reliability, longevity, and safety.

For More Difficult Measurements

Taking measurements in the field can be difficult, especially if the installed assembly contains bends. For more difficult measurements, Hose Master’s Inside Sales team is also available to help.  For example, if it is possible that your current assembly is not the correct length for the application or you are unable to provide all the necessary measurements, simply send us a picture or sketch of the assembly and any dimensions you have and we would be happy to help design the best solution for you.


The original article was written by Abby Svitana, Market Analyst at Hose Master.

For more information about measuring metal hose or for general inquiries about metal hose products, contact Gallagher Fluid Seals today.

Low-Temperature Applications: Can I Use a Metal Hose?

It comes as no surprise that metal corrugated hose is the preferred choice for high-temperature applications. But what about low-temperature applications? This is a question we frequently see from our customers. The simple answer is yes- metal hose is a great option for low-temperature applications. However, there are important factors that should be considered before making a recommendation.

Service Conditions

A traced assembly can be used to regulate media temperature.

Before recommending a particular hose for a low-temperature application, we first need to identify the conditions that the hose will experience while in service. For example, what are the minimum and maximum temperatures of the application? If the assembly is going to be exposed to wide temperature variances, it is important to determine how frequently and rapidly the temperature will change. Metals expand and contract as they heat and cool, and at different rates depending on the alloy. Severe fluctuations in operating temperature can apply stress on welded joints as the base materials expand and contract, which may cause cracks to form.

One way to verify that an assembly will be able to accommodate these stresses safely is by conducting a cold shock test. Cold shock (or “thermal shock”) testing is performed by plunging an assembly into a cryogenic bath, then allowing it to return to room temperature (or to the highest temperature to which it will be exposed), followed by various testing and inspection. This ensures that the welds will not crack when exposed to similar temperature extremes while in service.

Another service condition to identify is whether the temperature extremes will be present inside the hose (the media temperature) or outside the hose (the external environment). Will the hose be buried in ice? Will it have cryogenic liquids flowing through it? Is there a chance the media could freeze and change into a solid? Is it possible for frost to build-up on the hose exterior? These are all potentially damaging conditions that can be mitigated by selecting the correct assembly for the job. For example, an application in which the hose may surrounded by a cold exterior environment may be best served by utilizing a traced assembly. We recommend using the STAMPED acronym to assist you in identifying the service conditions for any hose application!

Standards and Certifications

Along with service conditions, it is important to also identify any standards that must be met in an application. This can be a challenge because there are different standards that may apply depending on the alloy, the forming process (cast, forged, drawn, etc.) and the finished product (hose, pipe, flanges, etc.). Hose Master uses the low temperature ratings in the ASME Process Piping Code B31.3, as well as other internationally recognized standards. Identifying the applicable standard is important because different standards may have different low temperature ratings for the same alloy.

When identifying standards, it is also important to note that a particular alloy may have multiple certifications, meaning it complies with two (or more) standards, each of which may offer different ratings for a given alloy. For example, many of our alloys comply with both ASTM and EN (European) specifications. In these instances, the standard specified by the customer dictates the minimum allowable temperature rating.

Finally, the method of fabrication may affect the allowable low temperature limits. Many standards include or make reference to various welding requirements, many of which require the welders to achieve and maintain compliance to those standards through thorough education, testing, and audits. These standards may dictate the allowable low-temperature limits for a welder’s certification, superseding the low-temperature limits of the materials being joined.

Selecting a Metal Hose for a Low-Temperature Application

In summary, there is no one answer to “how low you can go” in regards to operating temperatures for metal hose. Finding out as much as possible about the intended application, including any applicable standards, ensures not only that the materials of the assembly will be able to handle the application, but also that the assembly will conform to any required specifications. If you have any questions regarding the conditions and standards involved in your low-temperature applications, please contact us and we would be happy to help you!


The original article was written by Abby Svitana, Market Analyst at Hose Master.

Gallagher Fluid Seals is an authorized distributor of Hose Master. For more information about Hose Master products or if you have a custom engineering need, please contact Gallagher Fluid Seals.

Interlocked Hose: Combating Common Failures

picture of metal hoseAs Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” When it comes to interlocked hose, Hose Master has had a fair share of experience.  While other product lines have been added and developed over the years, Hose Master has been manufacturing and continuously refining interlocked hose since the company opened its doors in 1982.  During that time, they’ve seen hoses both excel in the field, as well as fail from a variety of factors. However, in their decades of experience, the majority of interlocked hose failures can be attributed to one of three failure modes: torque, abrasion, and over-bending.

Torque

If an interlocked hose is torqued, it can cause the profile to come unlocked from itself.

Torque is arguably the greatest enemy of interlocked hoses. In any piping installation, torque can wreak havoc on the components in the system, but this is especially true for interlocked hose given its construction. Interlocked hose is made using a single strip of stainless steel. The shaping process performed on this strip makes it able to interlock onto itself and is what gives an interlocked hose its ability to flex. When an interlocked hose is torqued it begins to ‘unwind,’ which loosens the interlocked profile, increases leakage and creates a possible unravelling of the hose. Torquing the hose is a common problem because it is often a direct result of mishandling the hose in its application, but can be prevented with proper handling. However, if a hose has been known to fail from torque consistently or will see excessive handling, manufacturers often offer varying options on interlocked hoses to help combat torque and make the hose more resilient.

Abrasion

Abrasion is another common killer of interlocked metal hose. Interlocked hoses are often used in pneumatic transfer applications and the conveyed media is usually some sort of particulate. For example, powders, pellets, granules, and aggregate materials are all commonly transferred media in interlocked metal hoses. One issue with these media types is that they are known to be abrasive. While the degree of abrasiveness depends both on the media type and the speed at which the media is traveling through the hose, this abrasiveness can cause a problem. Metal hoses have a relatively smooth, hard interior which allows the material to move through it at a higher speed than other hose materials. In the case of finer media, this can result in a “sandblasting” effect, which can rapidly wear through the walls of the hose. The best way to avoid excessive abrasion is to make sure that there are no extreme bends in the hose and the hose construction is compatible with the media type. Adding a liner or using a heavier gauge of material are both good options for making the hose more robust.

Over-bending

The interlocked guard on this assembly has been over-bent, causing it to pull away from the fitting.

Over-bending is the third most common failure mode seen with interlocked hoses. While interlocked hose can be quite rugged, once it becomes over bent it is much less forgiving than other hose types. Because the hose’s ability to flex comes from its interlocked profile, the flexing ability is mechanical (i.e. the metal strips sliding against each other) as opposed to the material stretching like with rubber or plastic hoses. If a hose is forced to bend beyond its capabilities, the metal profile becomes distorted and will not return to its original shape. This will negatively affect the hose’s ability to flex and transfer media, and can potentially lead to a loss of interlock. Luckily, because of the hose’s mechanical construction, you don’t have to guess where it’s bending limits are.  If the hose is being flexed to a point where it stops and the ridges are touching each other, do not continue to push as the hose has reached its bending limit.

Getting the Most from Interlocked Hose

Knowing these sources of interlocked hose failure can help prevent them in an application and, if identified early on, can be addressed in the hose’s construction before it ever sees service. Hose Master’s dedicated sales team has the tools and experience to diagnose your hose applications and configure the best product for your application. For additional information, check out Hose Master’s interlocked metal hose catalog or contact us and we would be happy to assist you.


The original article was written by Abby Svitana, Market Analyst,  can be found on Hose Master’s website here.

For more information about metal hose applications, or how Gallagher Fluid Seals can help with your MRO and OEM applications, contact our engineering department.

Considerations for Using Metal Hose in Chemical Plants

Chemical plants are one of the biggest industrial users of corrugated metal hose assemblies. Processes performed in the plants involve some of the most demanding environments:

  • Temperatures ranging from extreme heat to cryogenics
  • Mixing and transfer of hazardous compounds
  • Equipment configurations that result in less-than-ideal piping situations

Metal hose can handle all of these factors and has some other inherent benefits over other hose types when it comes to the kind of applications seen in chemical plants. Let’s dig into some of the main areas of consideration and concern when dealing with chemical hoses.

Handling Considerations

Mishandling of hoses is one of the main contributors to premature failure. Because chemical plants have so many different inputs and outputs, hoses are often used to facilitate the transfer of chemicals from trucks, trains, or barges to the plant and even within the plant from one unit to another. Chemical blending manifolds are a great example of this, where a single hose assembly may be used for various connections at different times depending on what operations the plant is performing.

Cam Coupling PictureThe need to easily connect and disconnect these hoses quickly and often makes cam and groove couplings a popular choice for chemical plants. When moving hoses from one outlet to another, it’s tempting for users to abuse the “arms” on the fitting and over-bend the hose or torque it into position. Always try and keep the hose as straight as possible, and avoid twisting it. Additionally, hoses are made to flex, but extremely tight bends (especially near the end fitting) can damage the hose and cause it to fail prematurely. Operators should keep this in mind to prevent deformation of the hose when making connections (guidance on using bend radius information can be found here).

Metal Hose Attributes

There are several intrinsic features of metal hose assemblies that make them well-suited for chemical plant service. Chiefly among them is that they are not susceptible to permeation. This is a huge benefit for both operator safety, and plant safety. The metal core is puncture-resistant, and in the event of a leak, the hose will typically develop a small crack or pin-hole and does not burst apart!

Metal hoses also have a more compact end fitting configuration. Because end fittings are welded onto the end of the hose instead of a barbed or crimped mechanical attachment they don’t take up as much of the hose’s flexible length. This results in more working live length compared to non-metallic assemblies, which further facilitates handling and easier installation by the operators. It also means that metal hose is easily customized without the need for adapters. Stainless steel fabrication techniques provide the ability to use a wide array of fitting configurations, and can be tailored to prevent media entrapment, resist end-pull, or to accommodate high system pressures.

Finally, one of the handling benefits of metal hose is its light weight. Calling metal hose lightweight might sound contradictory, but pound for pound, metal hoses generally offer higher working pressures than rubber or composite chemical transfer hoses. This gives metal hose a wide range of potential applications, and also translates into easier handling and installation by operators.

Continue reading Considerations for Using Metal Hose in Chemical Plants

Maximizing Service Life: Recommendations for Storing Metal Hoses

Hose storage is an important contributor to maximizing the life of hoses. Yet it’s often overlooked. When it comes to industrial products and applications, much of the discussion is focused on how to pair the right product and the right application.  There are so many different manufacturers of components that offer different features and benefits to suit the huge variety of factors that can affect plant components regardless of the industry.  Vibration, corrosion, media consideration, service life, flow velocities, fluid dynamics…there are too many to list here!  But what often gets ignored is how to handle and store those products before they ever get put into service.

After personnel safety, avoiding unplanned downtime is the main priority for all industrial operations.  Plants typically keep an inventory of maintenance items like hoses on hand to swap out as needed to minimize lost production time.  Unfortunately, this inventory is not always stored or cared for properly.  I personally have visited power plants where they kept replacement hoses, pumps, gaskets, and flanges on the ground outside.  The end result of this kind of storage often defeats the purpose of having inventory parts because they can fail or lose significant service life before they’re ever even used.  While these storage concepts apply to all maintenance components, let’s discuss metal hose storage specifically.

External Considerations

The storing of hoses outside may come as a bit of a surprise (or may not) but it’s actually relatively common.  Rain or dust seem like insignificant elements to stainless steel but they can actually facilitate a great deal of damage, especially over time.  With rain, the phrase “evaporation equals concentration” helps to illustrate this point.  Everything that is picked up by the rainwater on its way down (including nearby plant gasses) is delivered in a diluted state, but as the water slowly dries up, it leaves behind a concentrated residue that can cause corrosion (especially if the hose is in a position to collect water that can then pool on the interior).

Dust and particulate matter can do this too, especially inside the plant.  Maintenance storage cribs and spare parts inventories can often be found near the equipment they’re meant to service.  Heavy dust and particulate matter from process equipment can pick up other chemicals and off gases that are present in the plant, and carry them down onto the outside of uncovered hoses.  This new mixture can cause unintentional chemical reactions that can corrode the exterior of the hose. I know of a specific instance in a coal-fired power plant where a baghouse collecting ash was improperly releasing a large amount of particulate…which then combined with lime dust and landed on nearby hose assemblies causing the exterior to become embrittled and fail. Even in cases where corrosion isn’t an issue, these fines can buildup on the outside of the hose in-between the corrugations and underneath the braid.  This can be difficult or impossible to clean out, and can affect the hose corrugation’s ability to flex, or can become entrapped in the braid causing increased wear.

Hose Options for Storage

Fortunately, there are simple remedies for most of these issues. It’s always up to the end-user how they want to properly address their plant processes: be it either with a modification of the hose itself, or by rearranging how they store the hoses in the plant. Let’s break down each one separately: Continue reading Maximizing Service Life: Recommendations for Storing Metal Hoses