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    A Guide to Quick Connect and Disconnect Couplings

    Quick connectors and disconnectors are couplings — sometimes referred to as couplers, connectors or fittings — meant to improve efficiency and ease-of-use and release in flood handling. They’re most useful in any application where tubing requires quick and safe connection and disconnection — from biopharmaceutical to food processing.

    These fittings typically consist of two main parts: a male end and a female end. The male end features a barb or a threaded connector that fits into the socket on the female end. They’re most commonly made from plastic or metal, though custom options can be available depending on the type of fluid being handled.

    Used in systems that require frequent connection and disconnection like fluid transfer lines, pneumatic tools or hydraulic machinery, quick connector fittings are designed to reduce maintenance downtime and improve safety by minimizing the risk of spills or leaks.

    What are the benefits of quick connect and disconnect couplings?

    Quick connect and disconnect fittings can improve the functionality of your equipment and increase the efficiency of your manufacturing process. Other benefits include:

    • Spill-preventing design. For improved performance and reduced media spillage, quick connect and disconnect couplings from CPC are built with our innovative non-spill technology. Reduced spillage means more reliable protection from chemicals and fumes.
    • Significantly reduced inclusion. Air can enter a system when a coupling is disconnected — this is referred to as inclusion. Most traditional options allow 2 ml of inclusion each time a dis- and re-connection occurs. CPC’s quick release couplers reduce inclusion by more than 75% to .04 ml per cycle.
    • Ergonomic designs. Ergonomic designs make it easy to connect and disconnect couplings quickly, even when you’re wearing gloves.
    • Longevity. Quality construction and rugged materials including unique engineered polymers give your ideal couplings the durability to withstand harsh working conditions and repeated connection cycles, even when left connected for months or years at a time.
    • Improved safety. Quick disconnects should be designed with the aim of eliminating accidental disconnections so that your equipment can operate with optimal efficiency and safety.
    • Protection from product liability. Not all fittings offer this, but with CPC you have the option to add RFID tags to your quick connect and disconnect couplings to help track use and reduce exposure to product liability claims.


    How do you use quick disconnect couplings?

    Quick connect and disconnect fittings are used to streamline efficiency and safety in thousands of fluid handling applications found in a diverse set of products, machinery, devices and processes. 

    Using them is as simple as choosing a coupling that's appropriate for your application and equipment, aligning the fittings and engaging their locking mechanism to secure a connection. The specifics of how that happens will depend on the type of connector you’re using and the industry you’re using it in, from OEMs to system engineers and beyond. 

    Industries that most commonly benefit from the use of quick connect and disconnect fittings include:

    • Biopharma. A single drop can make a big impact in the biopharma industry. Sterile options like AseptiQuik® connectors for single-use systems help improve yields and decrease time to market for applications like bioprocessing, cell therapy and gene therapy.
    • Medical. In the medical field, compliance is everything. You need trustworthy components that meet device, instrument and equipment specifications whether the application calls for non-valved or non-spill, low flow or high flow, reusable or disposable quick connectors.
    • Liquid Cooling. When your electronic systems need effective cooling to improve operating efficiency and reliability, the right fluid connectors can make all the difference.
    • General Purpose. When it comes to general air and fluid handling applications, it's important to have quick connect and disconnect fitting options featuring a robust variety of terminations, configurations, sizes and material options. 


    What are the different types of quick connects and disconnects?

    There are quick connect and disconnect couplings uniquely designed to deliver what is needed for nearly any variety of fluid handling application, including:

    • Non-Spill. These quick couplers are built using a closed system made to reduce spillage to near zero during disconnection and release.
    • Valved. Ease the transfer of liquids or gasses through small diameter tubing using these. Configurable in a number of sizes and materials to meet the needs of a wide variety of equipment and devices.
    • Non-Valved. Non-valved quick connects and disconnects use precise hose barbs to improve the seal and grip when in use with various grades of tubing.
    • Multiline. These fluid quick connectors help you easily connect two, six or ten separate flow paths within a single coupling. Great for applications where unsightly tubing tangles are a problem.
    • RFID. Having RFID technology as part of your quick connect or disconnect couplings helps you better track critical information like device type, connected media, line status and other fluid data.
    • Electrofluidic. These help make the front panel of equipment and devices look cleaner and simplify connections that require power, signal, air or fluids with a single easy-to-use connector.
    • Drum Connectors. These are a specific type of quick connector that has been designed for applications involving chemical handling, including drums, jerricans and iBC totes.

    If you’re  an OEM facing a fluid handling design issue, you can always talk to CPC engineers about how we can create a custom connector solution for your unique needs to help you get products to market faster.


    Are quick connect fittings waterproof?

    Yes, quick connects are waterproof. This type of coupling is created and intended for safe, successful fluid handling so they’re built to be both spill and leak-proof.


    Can you reuse quick disconnects?

    If you’re partnering with CPC, you can reuse the couplings you’ve purchased for your fluid handling application needs. Our couplings are built to provide reliable strength and performance in a wide range of scenarios. 

    Not all quick connects and disconnects on the market are reusable. Before you make any purchase, make sure to check with the manufacturer about reusability.


    Are all quick disconnect fittings the same?

    No, they are not. The right quick disconnect for a particular application will depend on the industry, the fluids being handled, flow needs, tube size and more. 

    For example, Everis® Quick Disconnects are uniquely built for thermal management applications via ultra-reliable, dripless liquid cooling design.


    Are quick connects universal?

    No, they are not universal. Different types of quick connect fittings will have unique features and dimensions based on the specific requirements of the fluid handling system they're used with.

    For example, AseptiQuik Sterile Connectors are used in a wide range of OEM applications within biopharmaceutical industries including bioprocessing, cell therapy, gene therapy and more. Different options are available depending on application-specific termination styles and flow needs.

    Have a question?

    If you have additional questions about how adding quick connects and disconnect couplings to your fluid handling applications can benefit both efficiency and safety, please contact us directly.

    You can also request a quote or talk to our team of expert engineers. Whatever solution you’re seeking, we're here to help.

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