Fluid-filled hoses are often connected to machinery with a clamp. In a typical car or truck, for instance, clamps are used to connect coolant hoses to the radiator and motor. Clamps don’t just hold the coolant hoses in place; they prevent them from leaking. Even as the coolant heats up inside of the hose, it won’t leak — assuming the clamp is tight enough. Below are three of the most common types of hose clamps.
Also known as worm gear clamps, screw clamps are those that feature a built-in screw. They consist of a strip of metal — typically made of galvanized steel or stainless steel — with a thread pattern. Screw clamps have a screw connected to the thread pattern that’s used to tighten or loosen them. Turning the screw to the right will tighten them, whereas turning the screw to the left will loosen screw clamps.
Another common type of hose clamp is constant tension. Constant-tension clamps are designed to constantly apply tension to a hose. They don’t feature any screws. Rather, constant-tension clamps consist of a coiled piece of spring steel. They still feature a similar shape as screw clamps, with both types resembling a ring. Constant-tension clamps, however, don’t have any screws.
Without any screws, constant-tension clamps require a different method of installation. You can install them by pressing the ends together. The end of constant-tension clamps have fixed tabs. When pressed together, these tabs will force the constant-tension clamps to open. After placing a constant-tension clamp around a hose, you can release the ends so that it clamps the hose in place.
There are also wire clamps. Wire clamps live up to their namesake by consisting of a single piece of wire. The wire is pressed and manipulated into the shape of the latter U. The opening of this U-shaped design features a captive nut and a captive screw. With the screw removed, you can place a wire clamp over a hose. You can then add the screw, followed by tightening it with a screwdriver. Once the wire clamp is tight enough, you can secure it with the captive nut.
Wire clamps aren’t as common as screw or constant-tension clamps. Nonetheless, they are still used for some types of hoses. They offer a simple design that’s easy to tighten and loosen. The downside to wire clamps is that they typically don’t last as long as other types of clamps.