Understanding your application is critical in determining which coupling is the best for your liquid cooling system. Some questions you should ask when considering couplings include:
What is the system fluid? Is the fluid’s viscosity and corrosiveness compatible with the system hardware? Understanding how changes in the coolant’s viscosity over the operating temperature range can impact the pressure drop across the fluid connectors. Check to make sure the fluid is chemically compatible with the fluid connector’s wetted materials including any O-Rings. (Learn more about some of the most common O-Ring compounds)
What flow rate requirements? This impacts your tube or hose selection and therefore coupling requirements. The internal diameter of the fluid path components will have a great impact on pressure drop and fluid velocities. Account for pressure drop across connectors and check fluid velocities to prevent erosion corrosion. (For more information on erosion corrosion please see our application note "Erosion-corrosion in Cooling Systems".)
What operating range will the system experience for temperature and pressure? Connectors need to maintain the seal at all these operating points. Ensure that hose or tubing wall thickness, surface finish, hardness or durometer, concentricity, and ovality can withstand expected pressures and temperatures.
Will the system experience vibration, pulsation, or thermal cycling? Seals between the fluid connector and hoses must withstand these extreme condition changes.
How is the coupler mechanically integrated into the system? Common mounting options include pipe thread, in-line, rigid mount, panel mount, or elbow.
Do you need to comply with specific industry standards or other special requirements? International Standards Organization (ISO), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) are common standards many applications must adhere to. Sterilization, color coding or labeling, and specific packaging requirements are other common specifications to consider when selecting couplings and connectors.