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What is the difference between a rotary joint and a rotary union?

A rotary joint is a device that allows for the transfer of fluids, gases, or electricity through a rotating shaft. It is typically used in applications such as robotics, automation,and industrial machinery.

A rotary union, on the other hand, is a type of rotary joint that is specifically designed to handle high-pressure fluids or gases. It is commonly used in applications such as hydraulicsystems, pneumatic systems, and industrial machinery that require the transfer of fluids or gases under high pressure.

The terms "rotary joint" and "rotary union" are often used interchangeably, but they do have slight differences in their implications and applications within various industries.

Rotary Joint:
A rotary joint refers to a mechanical device that allows the transfer of fluid or gas from a stationary source into and/or out of rotating equipment. The term "rotary joint" is more commonly associated with applications involving the transfer of non-pressurized media, such as water, coolant, or lubricants, between stationary and rotating components.
                                                                                                                                         Rotary Union & Rotary Joint
Rotary Union:             
On the other hand, a rotary union is specifically designed for transferring pressurized fluid or gas from a stationary source into rotating equipment while maintaining a sealed connection. Rotary unions are engineered to handle high-pressure hydraulic or pneumatic systems, making them suitable for applications where fluid or gas must be transmitted under pressure while the equipment is in motion.

Key Differences:
Pressure Handling: The primary distinction lies in the pressure-handling capabilities. Rotary joints typically handle non-pressurized or low-pressure fluids, whereas rotary unions are explicitly designed for high-pressure fluid or gas transfer.

Application Focus: Rotary joints are often used in applications that involve cooling, lubrication, or material transfer, where high pressures are not a consideration. Rotary unions, however, are employed in applications requiring the transmission of pressurized hydraulic fluids, air, or gases, such as hydraulic machinery, rotating cylinders, and pneumatic tools.

Design and Sealing: Due to the requirement for sealing under high pressure, rotary unions incorporate specialized seals and bearing systems to ensure leak-free operation when transmitting pressurized media. Rotary joints may feature simpler sealing mechanisms due to the absence of high-pressure requirements.
                                                                                                                                        rotary union pneumatic
Shared Characteristics:
Both rotary joints and rotary unions share common design elements related to the need for continuous rotation without compromising the integrity of the fluid or gas transfer. Both devices include passages or channels for fluid flow, as well as bearings and seals, to accommodate the rotational movement while maintaining a sealed connection.

In summary, while both devices facilitate fluid or gas transfer in rotating machinery, the key difference lies in the pressure-handling capabilities, with rotary joints serving non-pressurized or low-pressure applications and rotary unions specifically catering to high-pressure fluid or gas transmission needs.

For more details on rotary unions & rotary joint products, please view :https://www.senring.com/rotary-unions/electrical-pneumatic/24-passage/3024004.html

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