Retractable Hose Reels
Retractable hose reels are a specific type of hose reel, which are drum-shaped devices used to wind, unwind and store hoses. Also known as automatic hose reels, retractable hose reels engage in automatic retraction rather than manual retraction.
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Retractable Hose Reel Designs
Retractable hose reels are subject to many design options. For example, they can retract hoses using the power of a few different possible methods. Manufacturers may help hose reels harness their power through the equipment of air or pneumatic motors, electric motors, hydraulic motors or elastic devices known as internal springs. Additionally, if the application calls for it, a spring-powered hose reel may be hermetically sealed, an act that completely isolates it from moisture and dirt. Also, most retractable hose reels are accompanied by a latching mechanism, which ensures easy hose retraction at any length and a positive extension stop.
Retractable Hose Reel Materials
Another design option for retractable hose reels is the material used to construct them. Common materials used in the fabrication process include aluminum, stainless steel, and various steel grades. The choice of material may be based on very specific or very broad specifications. For instance, medical applications, food processing and pharmaceutical industries require that all hose reels are made from a sanitary grade material like 304L stainless steel. Meanwhile, many construction and industrial manufacturing applications necessitate that the hose reels be made of corrosion-resistant and heavy-duty metal.
Types of Retractable Hose Reels
In addition to live connection configurations, retractable hose reels may be fabricated to fit four basic configurations:
- Portable Reel
- Constructed with an attached handle to be moved from one place to another by hand.
- Reel and Cable Assembly
- Consist of a variety of feature combinations. While they may contain any number of optional items, all such hose reels have a wire and a reel.
- Collapsible Reel
- Can be broken down or folded flat to fit into small spaces or take up less room when not in use.
- Storage Reel
- Made simply for storage; they are not made to move, and they do not work unless the hose is unwound.
- Retractable Cable Reels and Retractable Cord Reels
- Different reels similar to retractable hose reels. These reels also provide winding and storage via motor-driven, spring-driven and hand crank-driven configurations. However, they provide these services for various types of cables and cords. In addition, just like retractable hose reels, they are subject to the five basic reel configurations: live connection, portable, reel and assembly, and collapsible and storage reel.
Retractable Hose Reel Applications
Some retractable hose reels are made to fit specific applications. For example, some reels are fabricated and used only for transportation purposes, while others exist solely for transportation and storage uses. Still, others called live connection hose reels are made to allow operators to use a hose even when it is wound up on the reel. Retractable hose reels designed for use with construction hoses and fire hose applications generally have more rigidity and a larger build to support the extra length and load of their application.
Advantages of Retractable Hose Reels
Retractable hose reels are superior to manual hose reels in several ways, chiefly due to the hand-operated nature of manual reels. Retractable hose reels move faster, fatigue slower and are overall more productive. In addition, these efficient hose reels are much less taxing, as the labor of a human operator is not required to make them work. They may be made to meet any unique application requirements, both industrial and individual. They are, for example, available in smaller models to hold garden hoses and other, lighter hoses with smaller diameters. Other areas in which they are used include health and safety, construction, agriculture, automotive and transportation, manufacturing and storage.
Retractable Hose Reel Standards
Interested parties may seek retractable hose reels with certain warranties or meet government or industry standards. Examples include no leak/no break/no rust warranties, limited warranties against product failure, factory guarantees and limited warranties against workmanship and material defects. Attainable standards include ISO 4642-1:2009 (standards for semi-rigid reel hoses intended for fire-fighting), ISO 1402:2009 (hydrostatic testing of hose assemblies), ISO 4671:2007 (measurement of the length of hose assemblies) and many more. For the success of an application, a healthy customer-manufacturer relationship is essential. Therefore, retractable hose reel customers should not hesitate to ask manufacturers questions before deciding, such as those related to their post-assembly maintenance and parts replacement options.