While camlock fittings make for quick and easy connections for low-pressure fluid transfer, these types of connections are dangerous for both operators and machines when used in steam applications. As a result, camlock fittings should never be used for steam applications. Liquid dynamics and the ability to vary boiling points by increasing temperature and pressure within a sealed space can cause unintentional or accidental disengagement of your camlock fittings.
Water (and most other liquids) boil at higher temperatures when in environments greater than that of atmospheric pressure. When a camlock disengages during a steam application, pressure is released from its container and the liquid flashes to steam, expanding abruptly to a larger volume than its previous liquid state. This abrupt expansion causes an explosion.
The failure or improper use or selection of fittings and camlock assemblies can include:
- Fittings being thrown at high speed
- High velocity discharge
- Electrocution from high voltage power sources
- Whipping hose
- Severe burns
- Possible Death
Any steam line above 15 PSI is considered high pressure can produces superheated water. These lines should only be serviced by trained personnel who follow proper tagout procedures.
If you’re not sure which fitting, conductor or coupling is suitable for your particular application, play it safe and contact your local Kaman representative for help.
For more information on steam pipe safety, use the following resources.
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