The latest generation of plastic connectors enable more versatile, user-friendly and cost-effective options for the design of instrumentation and equipment used in mission-critical laboratory and industrial applications.
Industrial and laboratory OEM designers are constantly being challenged to come up with more versatile, user-friendly, light weight and cost-effective product solutions for their equipment and instrumentation. An important component in this design process is the selection of tubing connectors for the transfer and management of compressed air and other fluids, particularly for mission-critical applications.
Although metal tubing connectors have been traditionally employed in industrial and laboratory markets, plastic connectors continue to supplant many that were previously metal — not only because of their increased options for design flexibility, improved ergonomics, reduced weight and lower cost, but also for their ability to effectively meet stringent industry standards in diverse and harsh environments. Many features of plastic connectors, which have been long proven in critical medical equipment design, are now being integrated into a broad spectrum of industrial equipment and laboratory instrumentation.
But choosing the right plastic connector can be a challenge. Plastic connectors offer more options for material selection, user interface and customized design than metal connectors. A basic understanding of the options available with plastic connectors will help the OEM to specify the most optimized features to achieve peak performance in the equipment or instrument being designed.
Although plastic connectors effectively fill many roles, they may not be suitable for all laboratory and industrial uses. Brass, aluminum, die-cast zinc and stainless steel connectors are designed for extreme durability, particularly when influenced by high pressures and high temperatures. Choosing the best suited connector first requires a careful assessment of the application.