Many factors can reduce the tubing’s ability to perform under pressure including temperature, chemical degradation, mechanical stress, pressure pulsation, selection of connector type and barb design. The latest generation of plastic connector technology affords designers and manufacturers a wide latitude of flexibility to design and set up applications that custom fit to their specific needs. Some connector manufacturers, such Value Plastics, provide comprehensive design centers to help instrumentation and equipment manufacturers achieve the highest level of performance from their connectors. With good consultation up front on the designer’s application requirements and prospective off the shelf or custom solutions, the pitfalls can be avoided and optimal designs can be executed.
Compared to metal, plastic connectors provide a considerable reduction in weight and improved flexibility with regard to the equipment they serve. Also, plastic quick couplings allow rapid and easy servicing and maintenance of assembly line equipment, filling, and packaging systems to limit system downtime and speed throughput. Color-coding on plastic connectors also makes for quick tube identification and reconnection.
The cost difference between metal and plastic connectors is a major motivating factor pushing instrumentation, equipment, and system designers to further embrace plastic connectors in laboratory and industrial applications. Plastic connectors, particularly when custom designed for the application, are more frequently becoming the preferred solution in industrial and laboratory settings, due to their overall proven efficacy.