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Updates

Welcome to the New & Improved ZSi-Foster Website

Published 22-Aug-2018

Welcome to the New & Improved ZSi-Foster Website One of our core values at ZSi-Foster is to make your job easier. That's why we've worked hard to create a new e-commerce site you'll find easier to navigate, more streamlined, and more intuitive. Our new and improved website allows you to log in and order quickly, with all of the ecommerce functions you expect. Everyone from our senior leadership to our sales force, customer service, and marketing team worked together to make it happen.

Here are a few of the new features we think you'll like:

Easy Account Information Retrieval

Enter your information once and the ZSi-Foster website safely and securely stores your information for future use. If you're a distributor who's negotiated special pricing with us, register a business account and your pricing will automatically be displayed when you log in. 

Quick Order & Reorder

Many of our customers like to email an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file for their orders. Now you can do it online using the "Quick Order" feature. Download the sample CSV file, add the part numbers and quantities, and click "Submit" to add to your cart. We've also added an easy-to-use form you can use to Request a Quote. Once submitted, the form will be directed to the appropriate contacts in each product group who are best suited to handle each request. Ready to reorder? The "See prior orders" function makes reordering a snap!

Product Installation Animation Videos

Simply click on the "Resources" tab to access CAD and profile drawings as well as handy product installation animations for many ZSi-Foster products. These are great features for distributors whose customers want to see how a product is installed.

Industry-Specific Pages

You'll find a list of industry pages featuring the most popular products in use within those particular industries-from agriculture/mining/heavy equipment to air tools, construction and contracting, transportation, and other industries you serve. If you're a distributor who focuses on select industries, these pages will help you identify areas to grow your line-and your revenue. If you're a contractor or OEM, these pages are designed to help you find products to solve problems.

We've designed our new site to feel familiar in some ways, and we hope you'll find navigating and using it a more rewarding experience. Take a few minutes to look around right now. Be sure to let us know what you think. Brooke Elliott, our VP of Marketing, would love to hear your feedback, so please feel free to email her: belliott@zsi-foster.com. We're glad you're here, and we hope our new site is making your job easier.

Your Zsi-Foster Web Design Team


How Do I Know Which Quick Disconnect to Use?

Published 19-Aug-2018

How Do I Know Which Quick Disconnect to UseQuick disconnects (QD), also called Quick Connects, give you a way to quickly connect and disconnect a line without losing fluid or pressure and without contaminating the system. When choosing a QD there are four important factors to consider:

1. Type of QD

All QDs consist of two components: a socket and a plug. The setup will vary depending on the arrangement used with the socket and plug. There are 6 types of quick disconnects, including:

Manual

This requires manual retraction of the sleeve on the socket to connect and disconnect the mating plug. If the socket has a locking feature (e.g. sleeve lock), then after connecting the plug the sleeve of the socket is rotated to prevent the notch and pin from being aligned. When alignment doesn’t exist between the two, the socket is prevented from accidentally disconnecting from the plug.

Automatic

This QD accepts the mating plug with a simple insertion into the socket. There’s no retraction of the sleeve to connect or disconnect.

Safety Coupler (Pneumatic Applications Only)

Similar in operation to the automatic QD, the plug is inserted into the socket and the sleeve is moved straight forward to lock and turn on the air. To shut off the supply line, the sleeve is pushed back by first rotating to the left and then to the right. This will exhaust the downstream line and release the plug.

NOTE: there are different types of safety couplers: push button, twist, and rotation.  The one described above is rotation – our SV Series.

The socket on this type of quick connect has valving and is typically installed on the pressure side of the line to shut off the flow at disconnection. There is no valving in the plug, which exhausts the downstream line at disconnect.

Two Way Shut-Off

This QD has valving in both the socket and plug so the flow is shut off at both disconnected ends.

Straight-Through

These QDs have no valving in the socket or the plug. Both ends of the line are exhausted at disconnect.

2. Locking Method

The second consideration when choosing a QD is the method for securing the two halves of a quick disconnect. The most common method is the use of locking balls. However, there are also screw-to-connect, ring lock, and pins which can be used to secure both halves. Let’s take a closer look at each:

Ball Lock

The most commonly used locking style, a Ball Lock contains a series of balls inside of the socket which lock down in a groove on the plug. A Ball Lock is easy to connect (manual or automatic push to connect) and makes a firm connection.

With this locking method, the socket can trap dirt or accumulate fluid. If the application has heavy vibration it can cause the locking balls to become damaged, a condition known as brinelling.

Flat Face is technically a ball lock coupling. The Flat Face design leads many people to think of it as another type of locking mechanism. Because it has the ability to be wiped clean, the Flat Face product has gained popularity. However, it requires more force to connect and is harder to align for connecting.

Screw-To-Connect

Screw-To-Connect is commonly used for high pressure applications (although there are some ball locks that can handle high pressure). This locking style can handle pressures in the 3,500 – 10,000 psi range. The downside? It takes more time to connect, threads can become damaged with rough handling, and it’s often hit heavily with a hammer or tool to connect/disconnect.

Rings, Arc Latch, Pins, and Pawls

Rings, pins, and pawls are locking styles typically used for pneumatic QDs. The functionality is the same as the ball lock method.


How do I choose the best cushioned clamp for my project?

Published 9-Jan-2019

How to select a cushion clampsCushioned clamps for pipe and tube are critical to absorb shock and vibration and prevent galvanic corrosion. But how do you know which one is best for your job?

The first question is, what's your application? We'll look at hydraulic and pneumatic applications and HVAC/R applications, where these clamps are most commonly used.

Choosing a Cushioned Clamp for Hydraulic and Pneumatic Applications

Mobile Hydraulic Equipment

Let's say you're using a piece of construction equipment to dig a hole. When the shovel enters the ground, the hoses pulsate, creating intense vibration. A cushioned clamp will secure the hoses and dampen the vibration, preventing damage to your equipment. Even below 1500 psi, a cushioned clamp will extend the life of your mobile hydraulics.

What about applications above 1500 psi?

Under this level of high pressure, the hoses must be secure to prevent them from bouncing, jumping and striking against the equipment. If they're not secure you run a high risk of sustaining damage which leads to downtime that costs you time and money.

And if there's a bend in the hose it must be secured on both sides of the bend-particularly if fittings are involved. This will prevent leakage caused by the pulsating and vibrating.

What's the best cushioned clamp to mitigate vibration?

The ZSI-Foster Beta Hydraulic Clamps are the top choice for hydraulic and pneumatic applications.

Our weld-mounted Beta Clamp is used on construction equipment, processing machinery, and press operations. The Beta Clamp is also used in industrial, mobile, and marine hydraulics as well as many other applications.

Beta Clamps are ideal for clamping pipe, tube, hose, and electric cables. Their practical and economical design makes for quick and easy pipe installation and layout. And the ribs in the clamp bore do an excellent job of absorbing shock and vibration.

For system applications up to 1500 psi, the Beta Standard is the best choice. For 1500 psi to 10,000 psi, or t hose operations that experience pressure surges or wide temperature fluctuations, the Beta Heavy is a better choice.

What about when you need to reduce wear caused by vibration and surge on hose connections?

You may want to consider the Beta Smoothie. A chamfered and smooth core product, the Beta Smoothie features a polypropylene cushion and is an excellent choice when you need to reduce wear on hose connections caused by vibration and surge. It is designed to protect the hose cover and extend the life of the hose.

Beta Clamp components are available for purchase individually

If you're in construction and heavy equipment and you're using a rock hammer, you'll sometimes need a replacement cushion since the vibration can damage the polypropylene cushion over extended use. Or perhaps over time a clamp loosens up and a bolt is lost. With most hydraulic clamp manufacturers, you're going to have to replace the entire clamp. Not so with ZSi-Foster.

We offer components for sale individually, so that you can order only the beta clamp component that you need. This saves time and reduces waste.

What's the best choice when you want to prevent condensation leaks and need serious vapor barrier protection, such as in HVAC/R applications?

The Cush-A-Therm™ is a great strut-mounted choice for use in refrigeration applications when you have chilled refrigeration or mechanical pipelines that require continuous insulation. It features a crush-resistant airtight seal around the refrigerated pipe, providing superior thermal vapor barrier protection. This cushioned clamp can cycle from -70° F to +250° F.

You also get excellent vibration absorption and vapor barrier protection from the Cush-A-Therm thanks to its unique design. Its laminate rubber surface, inside and out, seals the cushion completely after installation, preventing condensation from escaping.

Made of 180 psi crush-strength polyurethane, the Cush-A-Therm is ideal for strut-mounted applications. When you tighten it down there's no cavitation on the inside, so you won't compromise the vapor barrier.

The trouble with plastic clamps

While plastic insulation clamps may be cheap, they're a poor choice because they sweat with condensation, ruining ceilings and walls. No contractor wants to be called back by a customer who's unhappy about ugly brown marks and stains. Unlike the Cush-A-Therm, plastic clamps are polyurethane only on the top, bottom, and in the hinges, so they don't maintain a thermal vapor barrier. In addition, they provide very little vibration protection.

On the other hand, the Cush-A-Therm works because it's made of 100% solid polyurethane, it hermetically seals pipe and tubes, and features a rubber liner to provide an extra layer which traps vapor-no air gaps!

Other options when you're working in environments where moisture can seep in and corrosion or mold can cause damage and staining are ZSI-Foster's Cush-A-Nator® and Cush-A-Clamp®.

Both are channel-mounted clamping systems and ideal for multiple line runs, absorbing shock and vibration, reducing unwanted noise, and preventing galvanic corrosion. Their "Controlled Squeeze" design eliminates over-tightening and rotation. While the Cush-A-Nator is the best product for most HVAC and Refrigeration applications, the Cush-A-Clamp is the better choice for pipe runs that are very tightly aligned.

Need a faster installation, or need to retrofit an application and want to avoid all the headaches? The Cush-A-Nator makes it simple.

Made from durable thermoplastic rubber, the Cush-A-Nator resists high heat and provides longer life against vibration fatigue. It's quick to install and perfect for retrofit applications.

During installation, the Cush-A-Nator delivers tremendous ease of use, allowing you to braze pipe before the pipe is laid. If you've ever done this, you know once the pipe is down it can be hard to lift off after it's brazed since it's connected at both ends. If you try to lift the pipe, you can damage the cushion. With the Cush-A-Nator, you braze first then lay the cushion down-simple, efficient and easy!

If you need to replace cushions or add cushioned clamps, the Cush-A-Nator gives you the flexibility to retrofit without taking the entire thing apart, saving time and avoiding frustration. You don't need to move pipes, since the cushion simply rotates into place, and then you can easily add the pipe straps.

Because temperatures are a concern in HVAC-R, it's also important to know the Cush-A-Nator can handle extreme or higher temperature environment. Cush-A-Nator Cool Blue offers the widest temperature range of any of the market-from -65° F to 340°F. Cush-A-Nator Standard has a range of -50° F to 275° F. And you might be surprised to learn that the Cush-A-Nator Standard sells for the same price as the Cush-A-Clamp!

Omega and Alpha Series Cushioned Clamps serve the same purpose as the Cush-A-Nator and Cush-A-Clamp-the only difference is the mounting method you're using.

An Omega Series Clamp retains, guides, and protects line runs with a surface mount, rather than a strut mount. It attaches with two standard fasteners and eliminates the use of special channels, saving space and time. It's available in either the Standard cushion with a range of -50° F to 275°F and the Extreme Temp version, servicing -65° F to 340°F.

Our Alpha Series U-Bolt is designed for tough jobs and secures pipe runs to any flat surface. It's widely used in the marine industry by some of the world's largest ship builders. With its cushioned design, it provides total load distribution to become a full-contact hanger, eliminating knife-edge loading. Because the Alpha U-Bolt traps and secures the cushion in place, lateral movement is prevented. Like the Cush-A-Nator and the Omega Series, it's also available in either the Standard cushion with a range of -50° F to 275°F as well as the Extreme Temp version, servicing -65° F to 340°F. ZSi-Foster clamps support the widest temperature range in the market.

What about applications where you need more flexibility for various sizes of pipes and tubes?

Look to the <a=href"https://mcprod.zsi-foster.com/index.php/catalog/product/view/id/19539/s/cush-a-grip/category/75/">Cush-A-Grip™. It can maintain the thermal barrier in a wide range of applications and is a favorite among our customers because it can adjust to fit 15 different tube and pipe sizes. Its wide range helps reduce the number of SKUs you need to manage.

I need to line up multiple types of pipe and hose - what's best for that?

Have a hydraulic or pneumatic application that needs to be wall-mounted or surface-mounted on the same plane of support and you want to keep pipe, tube, or hose in a neat, in-line condition? Look to the Z-Clamp® for superior flexibility and versatility. The Z-Clamp can be used with all types of hydraulic hoses, tubing, and pipe clamping applications. It allows you to neatly align multiple types and sizes of pipe, tube, and hose in one clamp.

Designed to maintain a consistent center for horizontal clamping or vertical stackable clamping applications, the Z-Clamp maintains the center line hole for different sizes and types of tubing, hose, or pipe.

What about when you don't need a strut or wall-mounted application and you have more of a static-loading condition?

That's where Loop Clamps come in handy. You use Loop Clamps on any tube, pipe, or hose and on many types of surfaces. Easily slip them over tube or wire and close them with a bolt. ZSi-Foster offers Loop Clamps that feature an E.D.P.M. cushion for electrical insulation and shock absorption. Their zinc electroplating provides corrosion resistance.

Finally, there's the ZSI-Foster

A UL-listed cushioned clamp, the Cush-A-Claw is suited for indoor or outdoor applications and saves you time and labor. Simply rotate the strut-mounted version into position, snap the tube in place and you're done. Our patented one-piece design makes installation quick and easy. There's also a surface-mounted version of the Cush-A-Claw.

Many of our customers use the Cush-A-Claw to make wall-mounted pipe or tube a one-person job instead of a two-person job. They use a Cush-A-Claw to serve as an anchor, then add Cush-A-Claws along the length of the pipe of tube. One of our customers, a Michigan university, was able to cut their installation time and labor in half by using the Cush-A-Claw.

Need help choosing the right cushioned clamp for your applications?

Our ZSi-Foster team is always happy to help you. Simply call +1.800.323.7053 or fill out our Contact Us form. We'll help you choose the correct cushioned clamp for your application and answer all of your questions.

Remember, we offer an unparalleled selection of high-quality products and superior customer service. If you don't see what you're looking for on our website or catalog, call us! We've worked with our customers for decades, creating custom solutions to your most challenging problems.