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Metal Hose Reels: Stainless Steel, Aluminum and Steel Hose Reel

Aug 7, 2008
Metal hose reels can be manufactured from steel, stainless steel or aluminum. They are valuable material handling tools for environments where industrial machinery depends on the delivery of fuel, oil, water, compressed air, or high voltage power through larger diameter hoses at varying pressures. Metal hoses are designed to ergonomically extend hoses for use and safely retract hoses after use. This helps extend the life of the hose because it minimizes abrasion and snags. It is also benefits the worker on the ergonomic level, because the hose reel does the work of dispersal and retrieval through either a hand crank or automatic retraction mechanism of some sort.

Steel hose reels are normally used for heavy duty applications where strength, stability, and rigidity are required for safe and efficient operation. Most steel hose reels are preconfigured prior to shipping for either floor mounting or ceiling mounting. Most can be adapted to mount to the wall by ordering a wall mounting bracket.

Aluminum hose reels are intended for sturdy, compact, and lightweight alternatives to plastic or polypropylene models, both of which lack the strength and rigidity of metal equivalents.

Steel, stainless steel and aluminum hose reels are engineered and classified differently to fit different environments, types of equipment, and process flow demands. Each engineering feature or classification represents a determining consideration when you purchase a unit, and all three levels of consideration must be balanced to make the best possible choice.

The first of these considerations is the size of the hose the unit is intended to support. Heavy duty units are needed for hoses that feature exceptionally large diameters and require a large hub onto which they can be safely retracted. Hose size further breaks down in to PSI capacity, hose length, and low pressure, medium pressure, and high pressure delivery power.

Metal hose reels are also engineered for specific types of hoses and cords. There are entire series lines dedicated specifically to the safe manipulation of electrical power cords. Welding equipment requires specially designed steel hose reels made exclusively for use with welding cable. Others units are designed to manage hoses made from rubber or other synthetic materials that are used to deliver pressurized air to tanks, fuel to tanks or engines, oil to parts, or high voltage electricity.

Finally, both aluminum hose reels and heavy duty steel hose reels are categorized according to their retraction mechanism. Some lighter hoses are easy to manipulate and can be managed with hand crank retraction. Others require an automatic method of retrieval, which comes from either motors that drive the reel, or spring mechanisms that provide automatic retrieval without dependence on external power sources. Determining which method of retraction to invest in is both an ergonomic consideration and a safety issue. Some environments contain highly combustible fuels or fumes that can explode if ignited by a spark. Retrieving a hose onto a metal reel too quickly in these environments can lead to static buildup, so a special spring-driven series has been developed that retrieves at only 20% the speed of other reel types and eliminates static buildup on and around the hose.

It is absolutely essential to obtain a unit that is capable of both the dimensions and intended application of the hose you need it to support. When it doubt, always recommended that you first talk to a material handling specialist to make certain the model you have your eye on is indeed the best possible choice.
About the Author
Easyrack.org. To find out more about Metal Hose Reels visit the Material Handling Section of our site.
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