Compressed air systems are used to power pneumatic tools and equipment in a variety of applications, including construction and auto repair. A variety of fittings provide a means for connecting tools and compressors to the system, controlling air pressure and controlling air flow through the system by way of valves and regulators.
A fitting with a threaded connection is often used to connect an air tool or compressor to an air supply hose. The connector can have either a male or a female thread, depending on the requirements of the connection, and thread sealant is used to make an airtight connection between the fitting and the tool.
A barbed connector has raised ridges around its outside diameter. When this ridged portion of the connector is pushed into an air supply hose and secured with a clamp, the barbs grip the inside of the hose and make an airtight connection. This type of connector allows a fitting to be connected directly to the hose without the use of a mated fitting.
Quick Connect and Push-in Fittings
Some fittings incorporate a connector that allows an easy, tool-free connection to be made when male and female connectors of the same type are mated together. These push-in connectors are often used to allow a tool to be connected to a supply hose faster than is possible with threaded connectors. Push-in connectors are not of a universal design, and connectors from one manufacturer may not be compatible with another manufacturer's connectors.
Besides simple connector fittings, a variety of specialty fittings perform specific functions in a compressed air system. These specialty fittings include valves, swivels, speed controllers and gauges.