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I'm building a small pneumatic control cabinet with a couple filters, regulators, valves, and flow restrictors. I had started by using 8 mm push-to-connect fittings and nylon tube, but it seems I can make things more compact by using metal tubing.

Thing is, I'm having a hard time finding any kind of basics tutorial for how one does this. I've seen a few photos, and found a couple pipe-bending tutorials, but I don't know what kind of fittings to use.

  • It seems I can use flared fittings, is that what's usually done?

Unfortunately, I can't find metric sizes on McMaster-Carr, so I'm going with 5/16". But while they have aluminum tubing and bending tools for 5/16" OD tubing, they don't have fittings. They do have 1/4" and 3/8" fittings.

  • Can I under- or over-size the fitting and the pipe like that?

  • Are there any good resources for learning how to fabricate a control system using metal tubing?

  • The thing I'm controlling is the tool changer on a nice spindle motor. It has 8 mm OD push-to-connect fittings, 6 mm ID tubing. 3/8" metal tubing has a 1" bend radius, while 5/16" tubing has an 11/16" bend radius, allowing for slightly more compact layout.

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    $\begingroup$ Parker $\endgroup$
    – Phil Sweet
    Nov 4 '18 at 12:53
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    $\begingroup$ I expect you are talking about modest pressures , like under 200 psig. $\endgroup$ Dec 4 '18 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. 0.5 bar and 6 bar, maybe 11 bar input pressure. $\endgroup$
    – Rick
    Dec 4 '18 at 22:12
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As far as I know, two commonly used systems are cutting ring fittings and press fittings. Note that both need some space for installation.

You should talk to a pneumatic components supplier, there are systems where you simply push the pipe into a connector (no english link at hand).

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