Universal Bulkhead Fittings

When a fluid line passes through a bulkhead, and it is desired to secure the line to the bulkhead, a bulkhead fitting should be used. The end of the fitting that passes through the bulkhead is longer than the other end(s), which allows a locknut to be installed, securing the fitting to the bulkhead.

Fittings attach one piece of tubing to another, or to system units. There are four types: (1) bead and clamp, (2) flared fittings, (3) flareless fittings, and (4) permanent fittings (Permaswage™, Permalite™, and Cyrofit™). The amount of pressure that the system carries and the material used are usually the deciding factors in selecting a connector.

The beaded type of fitting, which requires a bead and a section of hose and hose clamps, is used only in low- or medium-pressure systems, such as vacuum and coolant systems. The flared, flareless, or permanenttype fittings may be used as connectors in all systems, regardless of the pressure.

AN Flared Fittings

A flared tube fitting consists of a sleeve and a nut, as shown in Figure 7-15. The nut fits over the sleeve and, when tightened, draws the sleeve and tubing flare tightly against a male fitting to form a seal. Tubing used with this type of fitting must be flared before installation. The male fitting has a cone-shaped surface with the same angle as the inside of the flare. The sleeve supports the tube so that vibration does not concentrate

at the edge of the flare, and distributes the shearing action over a wider area for added strength.

Fitting combinations composed of different alloys should be avoided to prevent dissimilar metal corrosion. As with all fitting combinations, ease of assembly, alignment, and proper lubrication should be assured when tightening fittings during installation.

Standard AN fittings are identified by their black or blue color. All AN steel fittings are colored black, all AN aluminum fittings are colored blue, and aluminum bronze fittings are cadmium plated and natural in appearance. A sampling of AN fittings is shown in Figure 7-16. Table 7-2 contains additional information on sizes, torques, and bend radii.

MS Flareless Fittings

MS flareless fittings are designed primarily for highpressure (3,000 psi) hydraulic systems that may be subjected to severe vibration or fluctuating pressure. Using this type of fitting eliminates all tube flaring, yet provides a safe and strong, dependable tube connection. [Figure 7-17] The fitting consists of three parts: a body, a sleeve, and a nut.

[Figure 7-18] The internal design of the body causes the sleeve to cut into the outside of the tube when the body and nut are joined.

The counterbore shoulder within the body is designed with a reverse angle of 15° for steel connectors and 45° for aluminum fittings. This reverse angle prevents inward collapse of the tubing when tightened and provides a partial sealing force to be exerted against the periphery of the body counterbore.

Swaged Fittings

A popular repair system for connecting and repairing hydraulic lines on transport category aircraft is the use of Permaswage™ fittings. Swaged fittings create a permanent connection that is virtually maintenance free. Swaged fittings are used to join hydraulic lines in areas where routine disconnections are not required and are often used with titanium and corrosion resistant steel tubing. The fittings are installed with portable hydraulically powered tooling, which is compact enough to be used in tight spaces. [Figure 7-19] If the fittings need to be disconnected, cut the tubing with a tube cutter.

Special installation tooling is available in portable kits. Always use the manufacturer’s instructions to install swaged fittings. One of the latest developments is the Permalite™ fitting. Permalite™ is a tube fitting that is mechanically attached to the tube by axial swaging. The movement of the ring along the fitting body results in deformation of the tube with a leak-tight joint. [Figure 7-20]

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