An Air Compressor is a mechanical device that compresses air to increase its pressure from low to high. One common application of air compressors is to power pneumatic tools. Since we work with very high-pressure air, the hoses and other tubes must have a proper connection. This is where different fittings and connectors come handy. In this guide, we will take a look at different Air Compressor Fitting types.
First, we will see the importance of these connectors. Then, we will see the different types of Air Compressor Fittings.
Importance of Air Compressor Fittings
Air Compressors are very important tools in automotive and industrial environments. They store high pressure air in tanks, which we can use to power several pneumatic tools.
The operation of an air compressor is also simple. Shut off the valve to the tank. Set the pressure. Plug the compressor to an outlet and switch it on. The motor turns on and fill the tank. When it reaches the set pressure, the motor turns off automatically.
Now using the compressed air is the important part of having an air compressor. You can use it to fill up car or bike tires or power several pneumatic tools. All you need is to connect the tool (hammer, driver, wrench, etc.) to the compressor using a hose.
This is where Air Compressor Fittings come into play. We know that the pressure of air in the compressor’s tank is high. To make use of this high-pressure air without any leaks or problems, air compressor fittings are very helpful.
Air Compressor Fittings might not look that complicated. After all, we simply attach them to the air hose and connect it to the tank. Despite their simplicity and easy construction, we need them to properly direct the high-pressure air into the hose and thereby powering the pneumatic tools of your choice.
Different Air Compressor Fittings Types
We know that air compressor fittings are an important part when using Air Compressor and Pneumatic Tools. But what are the different Air Compressor Fitting types?
Having a knowledge on different types of Air Compressor Fittings will be very useful. When the time comes to replace these fittings, all you have to do is check the type and size.
So, here are the different Air Compressor Types.
- Color-Coded Connectors
- Hose Tails
Compressed Air Coupler are responsible for connecting the tank of the air compressor to the hose. These are the “female” parts of the air compressor fittings. We attach them directly to the air compressor.
When we disconnect the hose from the air compressor, the Couplers make sure that air does not escape from the tank.
There are several types and styles of Compressed Air Couplers. Industrial, Automotive, V-Style, and ARO are some popular types.
We usually fix these Couplers to the hose, while the male counterpart (which are plugs) will attach to the actual tool.
The shape of the Coupler is also important. When we say shape, we mean the part that connects to the hose. There are couplers three different shapes or connection options. They are:
- Male NPT Thread
- Female NPT Thread
- Coupler with Barbed Fitting
An important thing to know about these plugs is the flow size. Manufacturers usually specify this in inches. But note that the flow size doesn’t refer to the actual size of the plug but only the amount/volume of air it can push comfortably.
Some common flow sizes are 1/4″, 3/8”, 1/2″, etc. Out of these, the 1/4″ flow size plug and coupler pair is very popular.
Just like the couplers, the plugs are also available as Industrial, Automotive, V-Style, and ARO. The style of coupler and the corresponding plug must match.
Similar to couplers, Compressed Air Plugs are also available in the following end connection types:
- Male NPT Thread
- Female NPT Thread
- Plug with Industry Standard Barbed Fitting
These are not separate Air Compressor Fitting types but convenient way manufacturers produce plugs and couplers to easily identify them. While industrial and automotive fittings have distinguishable shapes, color coding right from the factory is more helpful.
The following list shows the style of Plugs and Couplers and the standard colors manufacturers use.
- Automotive – T Style – Blue
- Industrial – M Style – Red
- ARO – A Style – Green
- V Style – Purple
Note that these colors are a part of COLORFIT Color Connect Coupler System from Milton.
The two common hose tails are male to male hose tail and male quick release coupler to 1/4” hose tail. Select the correct size hose tail and secure it with a jubilee clip.
Air Compressor Fittings are very important to ensure a smooth and leak-free flow of compressed air, from the air compressor’s tank to the pneumatic tool. Selecting the right fittings that matches the shape, size, and flow rate requirements of the air compressor as well as the pneumatic tool is critical.
In this guide, we saw the basics of Air Compressor and their fittings. We also saw different Air Compressor Fitting Types.
Plugs and Couplers are the basic fittings that you need. Depending on the application, you need to further choose between automotive, industrial, or other types.
The cost of these fittings is very low. Hence, we recommend you to buy them in a bunch and have them in storage so that you can quickly take one and replace a failing plug or coupler.
There are several manufactures of Air Compressor Fittings. They will color code the plugs and couplers as per the style or application they are suitable for.