14 June 2024

Enhancing Hydraulic Systems with Live Swivel Fittings

Enhancing Hydraulic Systems with Live Swivel Fittings

Live swivel fittings play a crucial role in ensuring the optimal performance and longevity of hydraulic systems by providing flexible hose routing, reducing massively damage to hoses and enhancing system efficiency and reliability.


What is the function of a swivel?

The primary function of a hydraulic swivel is to connect hoses to rotating parts of machines, allowing for smooth rotation and movement between stationary and rotating parts while preventing flow restrictions and premature hose failures. 

Hydraulic swivels are designed to withstand high pressures and temperatures, ensuring the continuous transmission of fluid power from a stationary source to a rotating part while maintaining a consistent fluid flow and reducing mechanical stresses on hoses and other components.


What is swivel movement?

Live swivels allow for pivoting motion, which prevents or reduces stress from bending, twisting, stretching and kinking of hoses.

In a swivel fitting, the shaft rotates around its stem axis while the housing remains fixed. This design allows for a back-and-forth rotation (up to 360 degrees) or for a continuous one while maintaining the integrity of the hydraulic hoses connected to the swivel. Let’s see some application examples: 

  • Back-and-Forth Rotation: live swivels can be used in applications where the movement is repetitive and limited to a specific angular range. For example, in robotic arms, swivels help to maintain fluid flow and to prevent twisting of the hoses during repetitive movements.
  • Continuous Rotation: some hydraulic swivels are designed for continuous rotation, such as in applications like crane arms or forestry harvesters where hoses need to rotate continuously without restriction.


The type of motion a swivel fitting can handle depends on its design, including the presence of ball bearings or ball-less designs, and the quality of the parts used. 

Modern designs often come with simple repair solutions and replacement parts to ensure continued performance: Taimi’s products (Swivel Fittings) for instance, are fully and easily serviceable as the internal components (o-rings, backup rings, thrust washer) can be replaced by means of dedicated kits to extend remarkably their service life. 


What are the benefits of a swivel?

Besides the aforementioned ones, it’s important to underline that the installation of live swivels allows to achieve simplified connections, as swivels can connect directly to hose lines, eliminating the need for adapters and reducing the complexity of hose lines for 90° connections. 

This also leads to minimize the overall space requirement and to rely on more compact and efficient systems that are less prone to failure; that’s particularly beneficial in applications where space is limited, such as in robotic arms or mining machinery. Finally, live swivels can reduce the overall length of hydraulic hoses, making them more manageable and easier to install.


After all, it's not so common to enjoy that many benefits offered by such a compact product!