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issue: June 2004 APPLIANCE Magazine

Technology Report
Connection Device for Fluid and Air Lines

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A new quick-disconnect twin tube coupling reportedly allows two tubing connections to be made at one time in a compact device, while its two separate lines protect against mixing of fluids or crossing of lines.

Colder Products Company's new ABS Twin Tube quick - disconnect coupling has a thumb - latch design that reportedly makes it simple to disconnect and connect, and has an audible click to confirm the coupling was securely connected.

Colder Products Company (CPC), headquartered in St. Paul, MN, U.S., has launched a new quick-connection device for two distinct fluid or air lines for use in applications such as patient-monitoring equipment, coffee and beverage dispensing machines, pneumatic control circuits, and ink-jet printing.

The company’s ABS Twin Tube® is manufactured with injection-molded ABS, a rigid thermoplastic, and is said to provide good chemical resistance and dimensional stability. It is said to withstand disinfection with ethyl alcohol and sterilization by E-Beam and Gamma Irradiation, which is “especially important in industries such as medical, where durability and lack of contamination are important,” explains Patrick Williams, product/market manager and engineer for CPC.

The coupling is innovative because it allows two distinct tubing lines to be brought into one connector and attached to the coupler via hose barbs, Mr. Williams points out. “The connector converts the distinct flow lines to coaxial flow, which eliminates the need to orient the coupler during connection,” he says.

Because the flow paths are converted in this manner, they are kept completely separate to prevent the mixing of fluids. “The coaxial configuration allows the coupler to be connected at any angle so the operator does not need to be concerned about aligning two ports, as would be the case for side-by-side flow paths,” he tells APPLIANCE. In the same way, Mr. Williams adds, the free rotation of the coupling body and insert eliminates kinked tubing when it is connected.

“In addition, by making the coupling coaxial, the cost of a second coupling is eliminated and also space on the panel is saved,” he elaborates. “The panel design looks cleaner, less cluttered, and there is virtually no chance of cross-connecting the lines.”

The injection-molding method used in the manufacturing of the couplings—as opposed to machining them—is also significant and has several advantages. “The most apparent is the cost savings,” Mr. Williams remarks. “Injection molding yields a more consistent part and offers the ability to create features not possible with machining, such as side-by-side barbs. In general, plastics have better chemical compatibility.”

Operating pressures are said to range from vacuum to a maximum of 120 psi, 8.3 bar per line, and operating temperatures range from 40°F to 180°F (-40°C to 82°C). The coupling also meets the requirement for certain European medical equipment standards, Mr. Williams confirms.

The ABS Twin Tube is available with a molded-in 1/8-in hose barb. Molding the hose barb onto the insert eliminates the need to weld the termination to the coupling insert.
Colder Products Company


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