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BFM Fitting Frequently Asked Questions

Seeflex 040AS is FDA and USDA compliant (which means that it could get 3A certification), however we are still searching for an appropriate additive for the Anti-Static infusion that will be both EU and FDA compliant, so at this stage it has not officially been tested or inspected for 3A certification.

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It is not recommended. It is preferable to reduce the IG to < 2m and use the Seeflex 040AS (antistatic).

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LM4 (100% polyester) has a surface resistance in Ohms of 109.

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Yes. The Seeflex 040AS has anti-static properties to ensure static does not build up through product flow (friction). The anti-static strap is required for any occurrence of electricity through the system. This could be caused by any unexpected current/charge. No connector will allow a large/sudden electrical charge to pass so the strap is required to ensure a spark does not pass between pieces of equipment.

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The resistance of the connector materials to chemicals is very dependent on the strength (concentration) of the chemical, the process and how the system is maintained (cleaned). The LM4 is a 100% Polyester woven fabric so its capability with either chemical is limited. Seeflex 040E is also limited with these chemicals – it is important to know the concentrations and the application. Teflex is the optimum material for use with chemicals as it is resistant to acids.

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There are Seeflex 040E fittings running through a number of metal detectors around the world with no problem. Metal detectors have an arc in which there can be no metal, you just need to ensure the spigots are welded outside of this arc (ie. welded to the pipe both above and below the metal detector). The BFM® connector then runs right through the metal detector. In the very unlikely event Seelfex 040E were to have any problems with false results, then the Seelfex 040AS could be used without issue. The metal detector specs will often tell you what ohm resistance the material needs to be within, you could check these.

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A Seeflex 040E with rings will be more resilient to the vacuum than the Flexi. You could also use TR for extra resistance. Try and keep the connector as short as possible, and small gaps between rings.

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This will depend somewhat on what is in the laundry soap. In general the Seeflex 040E will work well. There is often Sodium Carbonate or Sodium salt which may start to break down the Seelfex over an extended period. Unilever in New Zealand run the BFM® fitting on soap product without issue.

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Yes, although the fat may stain Seeflex 040E, and cause it to go a little yellow, the strength of the media will not be affected greatly.

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Yes, sodium sulphate has a pH of 7 and will be suitable for Seeflex 040E.

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Yes – LM4 is fine with caustic soda in concentrations of up to 5%.

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Yes, Seeflex 040E is used by many companies around the world who regularly use nitrogen to purge lines with no problem.  

It should be noted, however, that we have not undertaken gas leak testing to a specified industry leak rate standard. We have completed air leak testing (a 600mm connector held a low vacuum pressure for more than 10 minutes). 

The BFM® is not certified or recommended for gas sealing in safety of life or mission critical applications.

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The Teflex will work on vibration, as long as the movement is not too much, too fast – 10mm is fine.

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Yes, although the BFM® fitting is designed to provide a 100% seal on powder applications, we do not make this statement with liquid. The Seeflex 040E works very well and is used in a number of applications, although there may also be the occasional very small leak (drips). The composition of the liquid would also need to be checked to ensure compatibility with Seeflex.

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If the contact with the ethanol is permanent the Seeflex 040E is not suitable. If it is sporadic and low temperature then you should have no problem. You may need to run a few tests on the media to check the suitability, as it will depend on time and temperature of contact with the solvent and the application. Please contact one of our representatives to discuss this further.

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Yes – our ‘Blackout Cover’ is perfect to fit on the outside of a BFM® connector and will cut out 100% of the light.

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We have BFM® fitting running with coffee in a number of plants around the world. There is no difference in terms of connector life than any other general application, it will depend on the conditions. There have been no problems with oils from coffee affecting the media.

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Between 3 and 9 pH is generally acceptable, and outside this it is largely dependent on concentration, application and duration of contact. It’s important to remember that the pH scale alone doesn’t specifically help determining resistance of the materials – the pH scale will provide an indication of the strength, but product type, concentrations and temperatures are far more important. Our woven Teflex is an excellent alternative for use with acids or alkalis. This is a pure PTFE media which can be used on most products and up to very high temperatures. It is best to double check with us if there are any concerns regarding media compatibility.

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Seeflex 040E is very strong and has been used with sugar, crystallized lactose, aggregates etc. Installing with an internal flow correction system is an additional way to further improve the system and avoid undue abrasion.

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Seeflex 040E can be used outdoors. It has been proven for use in both the sun and the water. Extended exposure to UV will cause the Seeflex 040E to turn a little yellow, but the media will not lose any strength or integrity.

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Yes – LM3 is perfect for this application as it can operate comfortably down to -70 degrees C (-94 degrees F). However, we recommend a separate FM1 Breather Bag installed elsewhere in the system to handle the breathing/venting of the air. In other words, although the LM3 is air permeable, it needs to act as a connector, otherwise it may become clogged.

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It depends on the type of oil. Some oils are very aggressive and would degrade the polyurethane and the tight seal of the spigot connections can also be adversely affected by oils.

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There a number of reasons the Seeflex 040E could go yellow. It could be due to use with chemicals, oils, fats or exposure to UV light. In most of these situations this is purely staining of the media, and there is no loss of strength or integrity. Please contact one of our representatives if you have any concerns. If you are using with a CIP (clean in place) solution you simply need to ensure that you thoroughly wash all the chemicals off the BFM spigot and connector before you start up again. If there is any caustic or acid left sitting on the cuff area, it will go yellow over time.

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Whilst there is potential for CIP chemical to get into the internal gap during CIP, the BFM® fitting is still far superior to any other type of connector in this situation. We always recommend the BFM® connector is removed and wiped clean after the CIP process to ensure no residual chemicals.

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Yes – both CIP and manual washing is possible. Refer to the washing guidelines for Seeflex and Woven connectors.

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Yes, the silicone is post-cured which makes it food grade.

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The EN779 classifications are a standard for ventilation filters. These are intake filters on building, in hospitals and the like. Breather bags are made from a dust filter media, which are tested and specified differently. For this reason we cannot report on an unrelated classification. However, for a rough comparison, then the FM1 is 97% efficient @ 3microns, or F7. If the airflow or pressure is low the efficiency will increase. This then depends on surface area, particle size and type etc. More info

Seeflex 040E is a synthetic organic material that does contain substances derived from tallow sources. Our suppliers have assured us that processing conditions used in the production of this tallow derivative product are in compliance with the minimum conditions described below for the processing of rendered fats listed in Annex XIII, Chapter XI of the EU Regulation 142/2011/EC, and the Notes for Guidance EMA/410/01 Rev 3. Additionally, this tallow derivative product is compliant with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations regarding the use of prohibited cattle materials in food (21 CFR § 189.5) and cosmetics (21CFR § 700.27), as prohibited cattle materials do not include tallow derivatives.

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The FDA do not actually specifically certify products unless manufactured and exported from the US. We are, however, FDA compliant – it is not possible to get 3A certification without FDA compliance. In essence, the FDA is a reference organisation that stipulates and classifies substances that are compliant for food and pharmaceutical use. Refer to this document for more information: www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM143301.pdf

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The 3A and FDA are closely linked; 3A is a certifying process that incorporates three cornerstones: 1. FDA – approved products 2. Customer – compliance with needs 3. Supplier – compliance through procedure and traceability In order to get a 3A certificate a company must prove to an independent assessor that their product is on the FDA approved list of substances, and that our manufacturing facilities, procedures and procurements meet strict standards. The BFM® fitting meets the design framework for hygiene and safety. There are also a large number of other administrative and traceability requirements that must be met, making conformance with 3A a far better indicator of our quality. The 3A certificates prove our FDA compliance. The FDA do not specifically certify products unless manufactured and exported from the US. In essence the FDA is a reference organization that stipulates and classifies substances that are compliant for food and pharmaceutical. Refer to this document for more information: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM143301.pdf .

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Yes it is. Seeflex 040E conforms to Regulations (EC) 10/2011, 1935/2004 and 2023/2006 for materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

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Yes – we have had the BFM® fitting independently tested through the IBExU institute in Germany. We have tested a few times, to encompass different products and sizes. We have also had another third party verify our simplified results table. Copies of the actual reports are available on request.

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Standard Seeflex 040AS connectors up to a maximum of 650mm diameter are confirmed as Atex compliant up to the following lengths: Free Fall: Dust Ex Zones (Interior/Exterior) 20-22: Maximum 2m Free Fall: Gas Ex Zones (Exterior) 1 + 2: Maximum 2m Pneumatic Transport: Dust Ex Zones (Interior/Exterior) 20-22: Maximum 200mm Pneumatic Transport: Gas Ex Zones (Exterior) 1 + 2: Maximum 200mm Connectors with plastic rings are compliant to the same lengths as those listed above. Connectors with stainless steel rings have the following restrictions: – Not approved for use in any Gas Ex Zones – Free Fall: Dust Ex Zones (Interior/Exterior) 20-22: Maximum 2m – Pneumatic Transport: Dust Ex Zones (Interior/Exterior) 20-22: Maximum 200mm Any other diameters/lengths do not comply without further testing.

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No – BFM® Global Ltd certifies that in the manufacturing of our products we do not intentionally use any of the below mentioned substances and it is not foreseen that they could be produced: Bisphenol-A (BPA) Bis (2-ethylhexy) phthalate (DEPH) Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) Benzyl Butyl Phthalate (BBP). Refer to our Seeflex Safety Declaration for more information.

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Seeflex 040E has been confirmed by IBExU as Atex compliant for all Dust Zones for standard diameters up to 1m (39.5") long for freefall and 200mm (8") long for pneumatic conveyance. It is also compliant for Outer Gas Zones 1 & 2 for all standard diameters up to 200mm (8")(Zone 1) and 1m (39.5") (Zone 2) for freefall and up to 200mm (8") for pneumatic conveyance. Refer to the ‘BFM Atex Declaration of Compliance’ document for more information. A copy of the testing reports are available on request.

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No, to the best of our knowledge, BFM®'s material suppliers do not use or intentionally incorporate any of the following agents into the Seeflex 040E, 040As or 020E that we use for production of our connectors:

  • Bisphenol-A (BPA)
  • Bis (2-ethylhexy) phthalate (DEPH)
  • Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)
  • Benzyl Butyl Phthalate (BBP) or any other Phthalates
  • Cyanuric Acid
  • Latex
  • Melamine
  • Nonylphenols
  • Oleamide
  • Silicone

 

Please refer to the Seeflex Materials Safety Declaration.

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No – Seeflex is a synthetic organic material that does contain substances derived from tallow sources that cannot be verified as having been processed to Halal requirements.

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Yes it is. Seeflex 040E complies with the following regulations: FDA CFR 177.1680 and 177.2600, USDA and 3A (20-).

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When installing the BFM® fitting you need to weld the spigots in place so that the correct Installation Gap (IG) is created for your connector length. The connector length will then depend on how much space is available for the installation, what length needs to be covered, and if there is movement. The tails of the BFM® spigot can be cut back by up to 40mm which allows flexibility to create the correct IG when installing the fittings. In most applications the best connector length is to pick a standard (stocked) item, 100mm – 200mm Long. If there is movement (such as a sifter) or an offset installation, having a longer connector is always preferable – as a rule the connector should be no less than 1.5x the diameter in these applications. The IG will need to be adjusted to allow for the movement with offset and oscillating installations, and a calculator is available to help size the IG correctly– contact BFM® for more information.  You can also check out 'Getting the Perfect Fit'.

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No – unfortunately Camlon can only be welded to Seeflex 040E inner connectors.

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No, it is not possible to manufacture a BFM® fitting using silicon etc.

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Yes - these loops are designed to aid installation from one side.

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BFM® fittings are available in many industry approved medias, and a whole range of sizes. The BFM® is 3A approved and conforms with FDA, EC and Atex regulations. The Seeflex 040E is used on a majority of applications, but there is also a light weight version and other application specific medias. The BFM® connector can also be manufactured with stainless steel rings, with tapers and many sizes to suit. Please ask a representative for more information on which connector will suit you. Seeflex 040E/020 – Clear polyurethane LM4 – Pure Polyester Teflex – (Pure Natural PTFE) Kevlar (Covers) Blackout (Covers)

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The maximum for stainless steel (SS) rings is 500mm (20 inches), for plastic rings we can do any diameter up to 1,000mm (39.5 inches).

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Yes – all of our standard connector material range is available as TR versions.

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For connectors from 700mm (27.5 inches) to 1,000mm (39.5 inches) in diameter, a maximum length of 500mm (20 inches) applies. For connectors from 1,050mm (41 inches) up to the maximum of 1,650mm (65 inches) in diameter, a maximum length of 200mm (8 inches) applies. Under certain circumstances (and depending on the application) there may be a possibility for a slightly longer length, however, this would need to be discussed with BFM®.

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The BFM® fitting at longer lengths is more susceptible to pressure and vacuum. The larger diameter connectors also become less rigid in the spigot and there is a possibility that the large diameters with long lengths will cause problems by pulling out of the spigot.

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Yes - the maximum available diameter for a TR (Tool Release) connector is 650mm (25.5 inches).

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Seeflex 040E, Seeflex 040AS, LM4, LM3 and TEFLEX can all be supplied with rings. Seeflex 020E may be supplied on request, but Camlon connectors, Kevlar covers and Blackout Covers, cannot be supplied with rings.

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For these diameters, the minimum connector length is 150mm long. Refer to ‘BFM® Guidelines: Tapered Connectors’ information sheet for guidance.

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The air permeability quoted on our Spec Sheets is tested by the material manufacturer. It is the amount of air that will pass through the material at a given pressure. 125Pa (0.5 inch w.g) is a standard testing pressure. Whether a product will pass through depends on the product, is particulate size and the amount of pressure.

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1,650mm (65 inches) is the largest diameter, and 100mm (4 inches) is the smallest.

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Yes. The LM3 is made from pure polypropylene and works well in very low temperatures. We have many connectors currently operating in low temperature applications and they remain flexible.

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Because the stainless steel spigot will not directly weld to aluminium, another technique will need to be used, such as welding a flange to the spigot and then attaching by bolt or rivet to the pipe or using a Morris coupling to attach the spigot to the existing aluminium pipe.

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The BFM® Spigots come in a range of exact sizes, eliminating the imprecise nature of current connector widths and ensuring a perfect fit with the BFM® connector. You choose the spigot that closely matches your pipe size.

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The proximity sensors we recommend (Baluff) are not explosion proof. It may be possible to use a wiring system or specialised control box. This is something you will have to work with a specialist contractor to solve.

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No – BFM® spigots are only manufactured in 50mm (2 inch) increments. The best way to fit the spigot to the pipework is to taper or flange it to suit the standard sizes.

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Square-to-round transition adaptations are easily achieved - see examples below:

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It is possible, however, Morris couplings need straight length equivalent to 1 1/2 times coupling length, so there would need to be enough space to fit this. You would want at least an inch of the spigot to remain to get enough clamping area.

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The smallest gap you can have between the BFM® spigots is 65mm (2.5") for an 80mm (3") long BFM® connector. Note that this gap may not be suitable for frequently changed connectors or for those with more than just a slight vibratory movement. Please also take some time to read the fitting instructions for our BFM® spigots. BFM® spigots page. (Link)

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The internal finish is 0.8Ra micro-metres (32Ra micro-inches).

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No – unfortunately we are unable to manufacture with rings on tapered connectors.

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100mm diameter spigots are 1.5mm thick. All other sizes are 2mm thick.

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100mm (4"): 0.10 bar 150mm (6"): 0.07 bar 200mm (8"): 0.06 bar 250mm (10"): 0.06 bar 300mm (12"): 0.02 bar

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Yes – our Teflex material can handle 260ºC / 500ºF as an operating temperature (and even surges up to 280ºC / 536 ºF). It is a permeable material but is woven quite tight.

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Seeflex 040E can be used with 5 PSI on a a standard connector length (up to 200mm Long). Above this we recommend using a SS Ring support ring or the Seeflex 040E with a Camlon outer layer. Please contact a BFM represetative for more information.

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No – the maximum operating temperature is 85ºC (185ºF). The material used to make the Flexi connector is lighter and uses a different manufacture process to the 040E/020E. The metal rings also add temperature.

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We have standard length (up to 200mm Long) Seelfex 040E/Camlon connectors running at 12 – 15psi continually with no problems. We would not suggest that you run them past a peak pressure of 30 psi. You should contact a BFM representative to discuss these applications.

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200mm (8") is the shortest length for a FLEXI-connector.

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Our spigots are only available in standard thickness: 100mm are 1.5mm thick, all other diameters are 2mm. The 100mm BFM® spigots are sized to fit standard tube which is measured externally, all other BFM® spigot diameters are measured internally to accommodate nominal bore standard pipe.

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The maximum length FM1 breather bags can be made to is 1 metre (3ft 3"), the smallest length is 100mm (4").

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We have standard length (up to 200mm long) Seeflex 040E/Camlon connectors running at 12 - 15 psi continually with no problems. We would not suggest that you run them past a peak pressure of 30 psi.

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This varies greatly – refer to the ‘BFM® Limitations: Pressure’ and ‘BFM® Limitations: Negative Pressure’ information sheets.

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1,000mm (39.5") is the longest we can manufacture a Seeflex 040AS connector with rings. This is a manufacturing limitation due to the nature of the 040AS material.

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For a 150mm connector, the minimum distance is 75mm, for all other lengths, it's 100mm.  A 250mm connector can also have 2 rings that are 75mm in from the spigots (and therefore 100mm apart from each other).

Rings on longer lengths are recommended to be spaced evenly 100mm apart.

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The minimum length for a connector with a ring is 150mm. If it is any shorter, the ring stops you from being able to snap the connector into the spigot.

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No, we only produce actual connectors out of these fabrics, not caps.

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Yes – although this is an additional cost.

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No – it is not possible to weld Seeflex 040AS to Camlon, and is it also unlikely that Seeflex 040AS would maintain its low resistance properties with a Camlon outer layer.

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The wire used for the rings and Kevlar/Blackout cover holders is 6mm 304g stainless steel with a tensile strength of approximately 800MPa.

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There is 50mm (2") from the edge of the cuff to the start of the Flexi wire.

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Yes – Seeflex 040E is one of the strongest flexible connector materials available with abrasion and tear resistance in both directions. This extra strength in comparison to other materials means it does not need to be as thick, whilst offering greater flexibility.

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We make spigots in both 304SS and 316 SS.  They are alsoavailable in C22 Hastelloy.

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Yes – our FM1 breather bag is used when you have a vessel that you are trying to fill and need to vent air. The LM4 or LM3 connector can also be used if you require your BFM® fitting (connector) to breath, often due to pressures. The LM3 breathes more air than the LM4, but could also bleed more product. This will depend on pressure, product, application and conditions.

FM1 breather bags are available in lengths from 100mm (4") to 1 metre (3ft 3").

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Although we have tested the TR version of the BFM® Seeflex fittings under vacuum to over 0.8 bar vacuum, we would not recommend a Seeflex connector for that much pressure (refer to the ‘BFM® Limitations: Negative Pressure’ document). However, depending on the length of the connector and the type of vacuum (i.e. will it be gradual increases, is it continuous, is it sudden and/or occasional) it may be possible with the insertion of rings in the connector. The length is the most critical element as greater lengths will cause the walls to suck in further, potentially placing them in the product flow increasing likely abrasion. If having a non-transparent connector is an option, the LM4 connector is a good option. Because it is a woven fabric, the LM4 will suck in outside air which is filtered through the material.

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For vacuum, the best way to keep the connector ‘open’ is to use SS Rings (This is generally only possible with connectors over 100mm long). Refer to the ‘BFM® Limitations: Negative Pressure’ document for more information. Another option is to use fabric connectors, such as the LM3 or LM4 which ‘breathe’ and filter air into the system. Refer to the ‘BFM® Limitations: Negative Pressure’ document for more information.

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Yes – you can have plastic rings with 040AS no problem (up to a maximum of 1,000mm / 39.5").

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