Hose Crimpers: How to Buy, Use and Maintain Them

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Hose crimpers are critically important to any hose assembly – after all, the hose fittings and connectors are what holds the entire system together. Effective hose crimping keeps your hose connections tight and your system running properly and safely. In fact, improperly crimped fittings are a major cause of workplace accidents and injuries. 

As hoses are such an important component in any industrial setting where large amounts of gas or liquids need to be transported easily, it’s vital that your hose crimper is correct for your hose and coupling design and that it is used and maintained properly. When you are moving large amounts of potentially dangerous gasses and liquids, you have to be able to rely on the hoses transporting them – meaning proper hose crimping is an occupational health and safety priority. 

If you’re an engineer or an industry professional who needs to install hoses for industrial applications, knowing the ins and outs of a crimper will be essential, which is why we have put together this guide. 
Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about hose crimpers.

What Is a Hose Crimping Machine?

Hose crimpers (or hose crimping machines) are tools that join crimpable metal fittings together with sections of hose or tubing. Types of hose crimpers range from straightforward handheld devices meant for piecework up to complex and sometimes automated work cell, bench-top, or freestanding machines designed for precision work and high volume. 

Hose crimpers include both manual and hydraulically powered crimping machines, and which you choose will depend on your needs.

Hose crimpers exert force with a complete 360-degree contact at the outer diameter (OD) — this could be on a metal fitting or a component designed to join together lengths of tubes, hoses, or pipes. Hose crimping machines are usually used for demanding industrial applications, including metal forming, machine shop maintenance, and shop floor production runs.

How Do Hose Crimpers Work?

Hose crimpers work by exerting radial force onto the outside diameter of a hose with a fitting inserted. The crimping die presses onto the hose assembly through the use of hydraulic or pneumatic force.

Between hydraulic and manual versions, hydraulic machines are what professional hydraulics contractors generally use. These hydraulic crimpers use pressurised liquid inside to compress a crimping die against a hose. The pressure exerted by the crimping die will then permanently attach the fitting onto the hose.

 After the hydraulic hose crimping machine reaches the desired compression, it releases its pressure, forcing the crimping die out. This allows the user to repeatedly open and close the crimping die until the crimping fitting has been compressed according to the user’s needs. The process exerts enough force that a permanent seal is created between the hose and the fitting.

How Do You Use a Hydraulic Hose Crimping Machine?

To use a hydraulic crimping machine, you’ll need to insert a hose with the right fitting into the crimping machine. Once you turn on the crimper and apply the correct settings, it will do the rest of the work, creating a permanent, strong fitting. 

This is a simple explanation, but there’s a lot that goes into using hose crimpers – and choosing the correct die and crimp ratio for the fitting is critical for success. We have explained the steps in detail below for people who will be using a hydraulic hose crimping machine for the first time. RYCO offers in-house hose assembly training for assembling and manufacturing complete hose assemblies. Please contact us or the manufacturer of your hose and coupling before attempting to manufacture hoses. Improper crimping and assembling can create a very dangerous safety hazard and hose failure could cause death. Always exercise extreme care and caution when assembling any type of crimped hose assembly. 

NOTE: – NEVER MIX AND MATCH HOSE ENDS FROM DIFFERENT MANUFACTURERS

  1. Preparation – The first step is to ensure that you are wearing clothing that keep you safe from injury — safety goggles, thick work gloves, and long-sleeved clothing. The materials you’ll be working with should also be prepared in the hydraulic crimper’s working area.
  2. Getting the Measurements and Cutting – Take the hose and find the measurements required for cutting it to its final length. After you’ve determined the desired length, mark the hose. Remember to keep the cutoff in mind during this step. Line up the hose using the mark you’ve previously made on the machine. Lock the hose tightly to achieve a clean edge.
  3. Clean the Hose – The cutting process could have allowed dust, debris and other contaminants to enter the hose. Use ultra-clean projectiles — send a pellet to each end of the hose to clean it.
  4. Selecting and Inserting the Fitting – When choosing a hydraulic fitting, consider the working pressure, corrosion resistance, type, style, orientation, and attachment method. Determine the fitting’s insertion depth and mark it. Lubricate the hose as needed before securing the fitting onto it. The fitting will not go all the way into the hose, so you will need to use a soft mallet to work it in completely.  
  5. Adjust the Settings – Different hydraulic crimping machines have different hose diameters and crimping die capabilities. After you confirm that the machine is capable, adjust the settings to the specifications of your hose and fitting. Select the appropriate crimping die and die ring and place it inside the machine.
  6. The Crimping Process – Place the hose onto the hydraulic crimping machine so that the fitting appears above the die, then begin crimping. After the crimping is done, verify the quality of the crimp by measuring the crimp diameter. It’s best to do this using a digital calliper.
  7. Finishing Up – After verifying the crimp quality, cap or shrink-wrap the hose to prevent contaminants and other debris from entering.

It’s worth noting that there are two different kinds of crimping methods. Regardless of which method you decide to use, remember that the couplings must be crimped over the entire length of the ferrule, including the nose crimp. However, keep in mind that not all hydraulic hose crimpers have this feature, so it’s best to consult the machine’s manufacturer or the included operating manual.

  • Rear Insertion Method – This is one of the most recommended methods for inserting the hose, because it allows the operator to position the ferrule collar inside the crimping dies correctly. This is also the safest way because it has a larger safety zone compared to the front. This method allows the coupling ferrule nose crimp’s position to be viewed much more easily.
  • Front Insertion Method – Although not as safe as the rear insertion method, it is also possible to insert the hose from the front of the hydraulic hose crimping machine. However, this method makes it harder to verify the coupling’s position inside the crimping dies. As such, extra care is advised.

What Are the Safety Rules in Using a Hydraulic Crimper?

The safety rules in operating hydraulic crimpers generally revolve around knowing which areas of the machine are safe and which could potentially harm the user. 

Although risks come with all industrial machinery, knowing which areas of the crimping machine can inflict injury is an important precaution. The area where the crimping dies can be found should be familiar  to the operator. Any foreign object inside this will be crushed by the pressure exerted by the hydraulic hose crimper, including the operator’s hands. This is known as the Exclusion Zone.

Although there is minimal risk of injury, you should also be aware of the 30mm area in the frontal area of the die set. This is generally called the Caution Zone. Most hydraulic hose crimpers have a slow die movement coupled with a semi-automatic operation as additional safety measures. This means that when you release the button, the die will stop moving, giving you complete control of the die set’s movement.

Operators using hydraulic hose crimpers should always be alert and free from any potential distractions. There should also only be one operator at all times, and their hands should be visible to themselves at all times.

What Is the Price of a Hose Crimping Machine?

With such a wide variety of hose crimping machines, the price range is also wide. Simple handheld hose crimpers can cost around $300, with high-quality hydraulic hose crimping machines reaching as high as $15,000. 

Prices will vary from brand to brand, including its capabilities and specifications – so getting the right match for your capacity and application is the most important consideration when it comes to choosing a hose crimper.

What to Consider Before Buying a Hose Crimper

Before buying a hose crimper, you need to keep in mind its specifications, type, and standards-based capabilities.

  • Specifications Hose crimpers are specified according to their coupling style, hose style, and product type. Hose crimpers also have different maximum crimp measurements. The crimping die, die ring, crimp diameter, crimp length, and hose insertion depth are other parameters that should help you choose when buying a hose crimper. The physical dimensions of these machines also differ from one another, especially when comparing powered and unpowered hose crimping machines.
  • TypesTypes of hose crimpers are generally categorised into; hydraulic hose crimping machines, pneumatic hose crimping machines, handheld crimping machines, portable crimping machines, and programmable hose crimping machines.
    • Hydraulic hose crimping machines are meant to be used with custom hydraulic hose assemblies and hydraulic hoses. The hoses used are primarily rated by their fluid compatibility, temperature, and pressure.
    • On the other hand, pneumatic hose crimping machines are designed for custom pneumatic hose assemblies and pneumatic hoses. These are generally used in industrial air supply systems.
    • Handheld and portable crimping machines pertain to the machines’ portability and are often lightweight but not suitable for extended operating hours.
    • Programmable hose crimping machines feature a touch screen or a keypad with integrated software. It has crimp algorithms that compensate for variations in hoses and fittings, as well as the distortions from the crimper itself.
  • Standards-Based Capabilities – This refers to hydraulic fitting specifications from standardisation organisations such as the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
  • Application – You’ll need to think about what you’re going to be using your crimping machine for and where you’ll be using it before deciding on a model. If you work in a large scale workshop, an industrial production crimper may be best for you. However, if you have limited space or find yourself moving from location to location, you might find a portable unit better suits your needs.

How To Maintain A Hose Crimper

Maintaining a hose crimper involves cleaning, lubrication, changing the oil, changing the master spring, and ensuring the pressure pipes are intact. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to maintaining your hose crimping machine.

However, some general principles for cleaning and maintenance are as follows: 

  • Cleaning – Make sure to clean your hose crimper before and after use. Keep the crimper free from debris, dirt particles, and other contaminants. Well-maintained hose crimpers operate smoothly and aren’t a hazard to the user. However, keep in mind that you should avoid using water, solvents, and abrasives when cleaning the hose crimper. You could try using a small brush for the crimping head’s inner section but never use compressed air.
  • Lubrication – Hose crimpers of any kind, especially those that are sophisticated, automated, or used in heavy industrial settings, should be cleaned and lubricated after every eight hours of operation. Retract the crimping die for lubrication. For the cone-shaped surfaces within the cylinder, use a small brush to lubricate them. Remember that although over-lubrication may interfere with the machine’s proper operation, the lack of lubrication also does the same by damaging the sliding surfaces. As such, the key is to lubricate the hose crimper moderately.
    • The conical flanges should be lubricated at least once a day.
    • Apply lubricant on both sides of the crimping dies using a small brush.
    • Never lubricate the piston rod.
  • Oil Change – For newly acquired hose crimpers, its hydraulic oil should be changed after the first 500 hours of operation. After this, the oil should be changed either after every 1,000 hours of operation or once a year.
    • Never overfill the oil tank.
    • Handle the waste oil according to the local bylaws
    • Using a 20μ filter to pump oil into a tank is highly recommended because new oil inside drums are not pure.
  • Master Spring Change – The master die springs of hose crimpers wear down. As such, they should be replaced after every 100,000 crimps. Replacing these requires special tools and professional experience and should not be attempted by anyone untrained.

Pressure Pipes – On both sides of the crimping head, return cylinders can be found. These produce the backward movement of the piston as well as the simultaneous retraction of the crimping dies. The hydraulic pipes to the two cylinders are pressurised up to 275 bar. As such, the user should practice utmost care and prevent any damage to the pipes. In the event of any leak, the pipes should be replaced, not repaired.


Related Questions

Can You Over-Crimp a Hydraulic Hose?

Yes, over-crimping is a possibility. This will damage the braiding of the hose and restrict the flow. As such, measuring the crimp fitting is a necessary step in the crimping process. Using digital callipers is one of the best ways to measure the crimp fitting accurately. This goes hand in hand with the proper calibration of the hydraulic hose crimping machine.

What Is a Hydraulic Hose Assembly?

Hydraulic hose assemblies are hoses with attached and crimped fittings that transmit force through means such as oil pressure. These assemblies are generally connected to each other and form part of a more extensive industrial hydraulics system.

Disclaimer:

This article is published in good faith and for general informational purposes only. Ryco 24.7 Ingleburn does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information. Always seek specific expert advice on your hydraulics system to ensure all variables are taken into consideration and follow OH&S guidelines at all times.

ChrisRyco

ChrisRyco

Chris Redondo, the Director and Founder of RYCO 24.7 INGLEBURN started his journey as a first year apprentice in 2000 at the age of 16 at a large engineering company called BROENS Engineering that was located in Ingleburn South West Sydney. Chris loved the business side of hydraulics and decided to move away from the company he started and establish a rival franchised business in south west Sydney to see if he could implement his own ideas and strategies and to see if they would work. He has built a solid foundation of the company for growth and continues to implement the right mix of people, education, equipment, and systems for the continued expansion of products and services to its key clients and key industries.

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Chris Redondo, the Director and Founder of RYCO 24.7 INGLEBURN started his journey as a first year apprentice in 2000 at the age of 16 at a large engineering company called BROENS Engineering that was located in Ingleburn South West Sydney. Employing over 150 people at its peak Chris honed his engineering skills by means of a toolmaking apprentice and also working on a vast array of jobs from industries such as aerospace, marine and agriculture.

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