Known by many names (quick couplers, quick release, quick connects, qds) the quick disconnect coupling is a useful tool to speed up the installation of hydraulic and pneumatic lines. A quick disconnect consists of a male and female half (nipple and coupler) which unite to form a complete coupling. Coupling halves are typically forged from metal and are composed of a body, latching mechanism, end-connection, and valving mechanism.
The most common material used is carbon steel, but brass and stainless steel are commonly used due to their corrosion resistant properties. Just as with hydraulic threads, each coupler is assigned a pressure rating which will vary depending on the material used, thread type, body sizes, and internal components. QDs are available in a wide variety of threads and sizes as well. NPT, JIC, ORB, and BSP are common, but metric threads, bulkhead threads, and hose barb connections are also available.
One of the most confusing aspects of QDs to newcomers is the difference between male and female halves. When working with hydraulics threads, we typically consider a male to have external threads and females to have internal threads. This is not the case with quick couplings. A male nipple may actually have female NPT threads, and a female coupler may have male NPT.
The gender of the threads does not determine the gender of the coupler. Instead, male couplers are male because a portion of their body is machined to fit within a female. Males are referred to as nipples or plugs. The female half is composed of retaining rings and components which accept the male stem, and typically have a retractable sleeve used to release the connection.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the most popular sub-genre of coupling in our experience – the flat face coupling. These couplings rival traditional ball-latching style couplings but can connect and disconnect without media loss. Identifiable by the unique flat (or flush) face on both male and female halves, they connect by simply pushing together and twisting a sleeve. Intended for use in hydraulic and construction applications, these couplings also operate at very high pressures. Plus, the flush face system allows for easy cleaning between connections to avoid introducing contaminates into hydraulic systems.
No Tools Required. Connect QDs in the field with ease.
Protect your operators and avoid costly cleanup fees
Connect anything from hydraulic lines to pneumatic air lines with ease
Due to their versatility, quick disconnects can be used in virtually any application in tandem with hydraulic or pneumatic lines. We commonly see couplings used on agricultural equipment, air lines, pressure washing systems, hydraulic attachments, skid-steer manifolds, and truck and trailer applications.
If your system requires the constant connecting of lines, quick couplers offer a more convenient, safer alternative than reinstalling hose-end connections. This applies to in-field equipment, where tools are not always handy. And, certain threads such as NPT should never be used more than once. Failure to adhere could result in leaking end-connections or even catastrophic failure. Because quick couplings are designed to be used multiple times, you can prevent unnecessary leaks and speed up installation in the process!
If you’ve worked with hydraulic oil, transmission fluid, or a number of chemicals, you’d probably agree the last place you’d like to see that media is on the ground, or worse – over your operator or mechanic. Not only is this media potentially dangerous, buts it's often expensive as well. Leaks in hydraulic systems can lead to equipment performance issues and require excessive downtime to identify and fix the issue. Cleanup fees are also very costly and could result in fines in residential areas. Depending on your choice of QD, you can minimize spillage during line changes and avoid downtime.
If you think quick couplers are right for your application, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team of experts can help identify your Faster, Safeway, Hansen, or other quick disconnect with ease. We can also recommend coupling types, materials, and configurations for your particular application. For more information on our QD offering, please take a look at our catalog here: