View Full Version : Air Animations with quick connections

Marr Branch
10-10-2012, 07:27 PM
I have some animations that use the 1/4" black tubing that connect into the "quick connections" thats what I call them anyways. What can I do to keep them from leaking air? They leak like hell.

10-10-2012, 08:00 PM
I have some animations that use the 1/4" black tubing that connect into the "quick connections" thats what I call them anyways. What can I do to keep them from leaking air? They leak like hell.
Cut off the old tubing the quick connections go on to and reconnect. They shouldn't leak at all unless you have bad connectors. Replace them if you have to.

10-10-2012, 09:36 PM
and how much psi are you at???

in addition to what tom said, if the psi is WAY too high the valves will release enough to keep them from bursting, atleast that's what we noticed this year.

10-11-2012, 12:04 AM
The fittings are called "Push to Connect" and generally, in our industry at least, use 1/8 or 1/4" (OD) polyurethane, polyethylene or nylon tubing.

As was already mentioned, cut the tubing, CLEANLY and reconnect it. A good, straight, square cut is important. Don't use your wire cutters or dykes and please don't double the tube back on itself and use a pocket knife to try to slash through it. Use a sharp, straight edge blade. A new razor knife works well for this. If you deal with the tubing on a daily basis, they make specialized tubing cutters that work great.

Regarding the pressure, PTC connectors will take a lot of pressure before they blow apart. And they shouldn't "release enough". It either works and doesn't leak, or you have a bad piece of line or a bad fitting. I have seen haunt vendors use the wrong size line in a PTC fitting, rather often actually. IE, they had a bunch of 1/4" fittings, but got a great deal on 6mm line. 6mm does not fit SAE fittings well, at all. PTC fittings seal on the outside of the tubing so it is imperative that the correct tubing be used with the correct PTC fitting.

If it still leaks, check to make sure the PTC fitting is actually wrench tight in the valve / regulator / etc. We got a bunch of Dark Raven and Hazard Room stuff last year that almost nothing was tightened down. In fact, I plugged in the exterminator that we got from Hazard Room last year and one of the fittings promptly blew off of the valve. It wasn't even finger tight, let alone wrench tight. I haven't seen many PTC fittings that don't come with sealant already on them, but they are out there. Make sure the fitting has either pipe dope or (preferably) teflon tape on the threads.

The elevator motion simulators that I just finished building for my place utilizes a total of 210 PTC fittings. Not a single one of them leak.

Allen H
10-11-2012, 06:23 AM
what a great post. thanks for taking the time to write that.

10-11-2012, 07:19 AM
That was great Brandon, I know jack-$#!T about it, just enough to get me by lol.

I thought Marr was referring to manual triggers such as this one, http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Pneumatic_Components/Pneumatic_Valves_-a-_Accessories/Manual_Air_Valves/AVS-527D1-PP

This year I bought a few animations from Iron Man from Iron Kingdom, the guy was extremely helpful in making them as simple and idiot proof for me as possible. The 3 I bought from him run solely on air, no electricity and all have manual triggers, one in and one out, and I noticed if I ran the PSI too high by accident, air would leak from underneath the trigger button. (IDK if that's normal or not, but i tightened all the tubes up and lowered the psi a bit and the problem fixed itself)

It'd be awesome if someone in the haunt industry made like "An Idiot's Guide To....Animatronics!" I know I could stand to learn a bit more about them! lol

Marr Branch
10-11-2012, 08:49 AM
Thanks guys I will cut them and try again.

10-11-2012, 06:42 PM
Another thing to check is the tube material. You want Polyurethane (PUR) tubing for push to connect fittings. The harder the better. You want a hardness of at least 90 on the shore A scale (we always use 98 ). Nylon hose is good for barbed fittings, not push to connect fittings. If its shore D 80 or less hardness its no good for push to connect fittings. Other materials will work and may not leak at first but in high speed animations the valve rapidly opening and closing can sometimes cause the tube to move back and forth in the fitting. This coupled with the tube heating up from friction of air traveling through it will soften it and let it work its way out if you use a soft hose like Nylon.


10-12-2012, 05:20 AM
Brandon's post was so good the thread should have stopped there! But I feel the need to correct some information that another interjected.

Polyurethane is not the airline of choice for our industry. 99% of the airline we sell is polyethylene which is much cheaper and has a larger inside diameter.

And in all of my years working with pneumatics I have never had to worry about "shore d hardness", while it is a factor- you don't need to get that technical because the supplier of the fittings will also carry the appropriate airline.

Another thing that may not have been mentioned; Make sure there is no air in the line before releasing the quick connect. If there is air in the line the barbs inside the fitting will get stressed and cause them to not grip the airline as well which leads to leaks and airline that releases on its own.


10-12-2012, 02:56 PM
Sorry if we disagree Doug. But 1/4 polyurethane is only $19 for 100ft (see link), so I don't see any reason to skimp on lesser materials. And you'll notice they call out the hardness. Its just my humble opinion but as a degreed robotics engineer rest assured there is much thought put behind it. But no worries as you sell urethane as well any how.



10-12-2012, 03:40 PM
SinisterControls Didn't mean to ruffle your feathers. I do respect your knowledge.

Polyethylene is $9 for 100 foot roll making it cheaper, but it's not only the cost savings. It's also better because it has a smaller inside diameter and lets the air flow better. It also releases easier from the fittings (when you want it to). Polyurethane certainly has some advantages (such being more durable and flexible then polyethylene). But my point was that for our industry polyethylene is the airline of choice.

As to worrying about the "hardness rating" my point was that is just adding an unnecessary level of complexity to the conversation which only serves to confuse people. One of my missions is to educate people as to how easy it is to get into this stuff. I was trying to point out that having to know that piece of information is unnecessary.


Marr Branch
10-15-2012, 05:31 PM
Doug, I have 2 of you're ankle blasters both are air tight and work great. I do have one question If I mount them upside down in the celing creating "Head Blasters" will they work properly?

10-17-2012, 11:41 AM
I'll throw my cents in on polyethylene vs polyurethane, as IMO both are right for our industry.

Polyurethane is a premium product, with a premium price tag. It offers superior abrasion resistance and is FAR more flexible than polyethylene or nylon. Polyurethane will handle the lowest pressure of the three, but all three offer much higher working pressures than most haunts will ever deal with. Both poly's are neck and neck when it comes to heat. In high heat applications (IE, my compressor controller where I didn't want to have to run copper), I use Nylon. With respect to inside diameter, my Freelin Wade polyurethane is spec'ed at .16 ID, my ATP polyurethane is .156. Freelin Wade polyurethane is .17 and Nylon is .18. So yes, polyethylene will flow, what, maybe a percent better than polyurethane? I don't believe that will have any real impact on a haunted house prop.

I much, much prefer working with polyurethane. That's not to say polyethylene is a bad product, it's not, I just prefer urethane. The only thing that I dislike about urethane is pulling multiple lines through a bridal ring or the like. The tubing likes to stick to other tubing and attempt to pull it's neighbors with it. But that is a installation issue more than anything and something I got used to dealing with this summer. With the elevator project this year, I went through 650' of 1/2" urethane, 1300' of 1/4" urethane and ~100' of 3/8" urethane. Most all of which was pulled through bridal rings.