The Italian company Stucchi now offers an extensive range of multicouplings to meet the growing and demanding needs of the market.
Having used quick-release couplings for many years, the mobile hydraulic market is now becoming extremely familiar with this technology. The quick coupling is a device that allows for the connection and disconnection of hydraulic fluid lines in a quick, easy and repetitive manner, without dispersion of oil into the work environment. In particular, quick couplings with flat-face technology are very much appreciated: through the use of retention valves, these products do not allow the release of a single drop of oil on disconnection and prevent the entry of air or dirt during connection. Founded in 1960, Stucchi was one of the first companies in Europe to introduce this technology several decades ago, beginning a trend that has never slowed down. The next evolution of the flat face design concerns a particular family of hydraulic connections: Stucchi’s hydraulic multicouplings. This type of product brings quick couplings together in two plates that can be connected mechanically with a manual lever, enabling quick connection of all the hydraulic lines at the same time, instead of requiring connection one by one, line by line. By making it possible to connect them all at once, with one single movement, in a quicker and easier manner, it immediately becomes clear just how much time can potentially be saved with these multicouplings. These multicouplings can also only be fitted in one way, offering a benefit over individual couplers, which can easily be accidentally connected to the wrong line, causing malfunctioning of the system. Stucchi’s solution to the problem of connection while there is residual pressure in hydraulic lines has previously been discussed in iVT International. This is a common problem on construction sites, in public works vehicles or in agricultural mobile machinery, because the flexible hoses can heat up from exposure to the sun or for a variety of other reasons, causing an increase in the pressure of the oil in the hydraulic circuit and making it difficult, or even impossible, to connect the lines. This ingenious patented multicoupling therefore provides a complete solution. A special decompression valve has been incorporated in the male coupling, making it possible to connect all the lines, even under residual pressure. The use of a lever greatly reduces the effort required to make the connection; effort that is already decreased by the presence of a residual pressure-relief valve.
The two connection plates are made of a metallic material (brass or aluminum) with surface coatings that protect the product from environmental corrosion. In the case of machines that frequently work in hostile environments, such as salt spreaders and other vehicles travelling on snowy roads in winter, this is seen as a critical problem by many manufacturers. The locking mechanism of Stucchi’s multicouplings consists of a pair of high-tensile carbon steel pins mounted on the mobile plate. These pins enter holes in the fixed plate when the mechanism is locked; a pair of cams in the fixed plate, moved by the connection lever, then pull on the pins of the mobile plate until the system is fully and securely connected. Connection is guaranteed by the shape of the cams as well as a safety mechanism that keeps the multicoupling in its locked position when the public works vehicle is in operation. The moving parts (pins and the relative cams) are surface-treated so as to guarantee maximum scratch resistance and corrosion protection. This is achieved through the use of a special heat treatment on the carbon steel of the components.
Zinc it over
The lever system (handle, lever, safety lock system) is made from carbon steel and its surface is plated with the galvanic zinc- nickel treatment. This is a special surface treatment already in use in the automotive sector, comprising a coating of an alloy of zinc and nickel that provides superior corrosion resistance in comparison with the normal galvanic treatment of CR3 zinc plating. This treatment conforms with the European Directives 2011/65/EU, ELV 2000/53/EC and RAEE 2012/19/EU. The color is a peculiar, semi-gloss light gray. Stucchi has selected this zinc-nickel corrosion surface treatment after extensive internal tests, using the best laboratories as well as customer field tests. Following good results, it is now being used on the levers of DP-ZN and GR-ZN series multicouplers for hydraulic applications.
GR-ZN multicouplers are manufactured with a body made from brass, which is then nickel plated and a locking mechanism integrated into the lever. Up to 10 lines can be simultaneously connected and disconnected with a safe, simple and quick movement that requires low effort. The lines can all be of the same size, or each line can be different from the rest, according to the application. The series allows the assembling of couplings in dimensions: 3/8 in (FAP9ZN), ½in, (FAP13ZN), 5/8 in (FAP15ZN), ¾in (FAP17ZN) and 1in (FAP21ZN). DP-ZN is Stucchi’s compact manual multicouplings series that offers solutions for applications that require connection and disconnection of hydraulic lines in confined spaces. With an aluminum body, they feature a locking mechanism on the side of the fixed plate and are available for sizes 3/8 in (FAP9ZN), ½in (FAP13ZN), 5/8 in (FAP15ZN) and ¾in (FAP17ZN). With this series, it is possible to simultaneously connect and disconnect as many as six lines with a safe, simple and quick movement requiring low effort. These multiconnectors use the FAP-ZN coupling series, which handle operating pressures up to 350 bar. They are easily mounted on the plates using a ‘nut and snap ring’ system, which is easily accessible for maintenance. FAP-ZN products are also coated with galvanic zinc-nickel plating, guaranteeing the best corrosion resistance for harsh working environments such as those mentioned above. An additional benefit of using Stucchi’s multicouplings arises from the possibilities they offer to assemble hydraulic couplers of different sizes on the same plate and, in particular, to integrate electrical connectors at the same time. That allows valve, signal control, lights or other electrical/electronic devices to be connected along with the hydraulic hoses. Special versions of quick couplers for the company’s multicouplings also permit connection of fluid lines for water, glycol and water, emulsions and cooling fluids, or air for pneumatic circuits, etc. Each plate has a cap and parking station to protect from dust and damaging. Stucchi now offers an extensive range of multicouplings, to meet the growing demanding needs of the market.
Multicoupling series GR-ZN
- Body made in brass with Nickel plating treatment; locking mechanism integrated on the lever.
- Up to ten lines can be simultaneously connected and disconnected by a safe, simple and quick movement requiring low effort. The lines can all have the same size or each line can be different from the others according to the application.
- Available with dimensions : 3/8 (9), ½, (13), 5/8 (15), ¾ (17), 1” (21).
Multicoupling series DP-ZN
- “DP” is the compact manual multicouplings series that offer solutions for applications
requiring connection and disconnection of hydraulic lines in reduced spaces.
- Body made in aluminium, they have the locking mechanism on the side of the fixed plate.
- Available for size 3/8 (dimension 9) and size ½ (dimension13).
- Up to four lines can be simultaneously connected and disconnected by a safe, simple and quick movement requiring low effort.