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Old 08-09-2010, 12:11 PM   #1
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Default Stainless vs Aluminum vs Polypropylene Cam and Groove Couplings

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am going to begin building my single tier, three keg system and I wanted everybody's opinion on cam and groove disconnects from www.proflowdynamics.com. Especially you Bobby M.!

My question is:

What are your opinions on the benefits of using one material over another?

I am jealous of the awesome stainless setups that everyone's using; but I'm hung over paying 3x (typically) the price for stainless over aluminum or polypropylene. My opinion swings mainly over price because I haven't seen a huge difference in the capabilities of the three materials. I crunched the numbers and came up with the following based on the need for six disconnect assemblies:

Stainless:

Six type F adapters: $23.52
Six type D couplers: $34.68 which comes to $58.20 without tax and shipping.

Aluminum:

Six type F adapters: $5.10
Six type D couplers: $11.28 which comes to $16.38..

Polypropylene:

Six type F adapters: $2.34
Six type D couplers: $10.74 which comes to $13.08..

I'm honestly leaning more towards aluminum because I'm willing to pay the extra $3 for metal over plastic; but is there an operational reason to pay the $58.20 for stainless? Looking forward to reading all of your replies! Cheers.

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Last edited by ImperialLover; 08-09-2010 at 12:12 PM. Reason: spelling fail!
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:34 PM   #2
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Aluminum pros: cheap
Aluminum cons: scratches, abrades and wears easily, reacts with some strong cleaning products.

Stainless pros: looks great, inert to most cleaning products, doesn't abrade or wear readily, will out-live the brewer and the brewery.
Stainless cons: expensive, although the ProFlow Dynamics connectors are relatively cheap compared to other stainless connectors.

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Old 08-09-2010, 04:13 PM   #3
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I had a similar decision. I went with all SS. I figured buy now and then I won't have to pay anything later to upgrade.

I was put off aluminum because I figured I could not run Star San and Oxiclean through them as it will affect the metal.

Also buy your #210 silicone o-rings from somewhere like oringsandmore. They are a lot cheaper than buying from PFD direct.

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Old 08-09-2010, 04:52 PM   #4
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I've been going back and forth between the SS and PP myself trying to justify the SS. The Al & brass were out because of the reaction with some cleaners and I want to be able to acid wash during CIP. I figured if I used all females on my hoses there would be less chance for dings since the males will be mounted to mainly stationary vessels. Also the PP will conduct heat less, making hot swapping hoses less of an ordeal. Even if they do get beat up you can buy 4-5 sets of PP before you're at the SS price, and ss or not, you'll be replacing fittings at some point due to damage. The one comment that I did get back from Proflow is that the PP is actually a 3/4" body, which is a little larger (more robust?) than the SS bodies which are 1/2". Barbs and NPT are still 1/2" on the PP though.

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:03 PM   #5
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CPT Bigelow,

Yeah, I'm tracking the oringsandmore.com site. It's like $5 for a pack of twenty or something. Good call brother.

WPStrassburg,

Good info on the polypropylene.

To All,

What type of reaction does the aluminum have to these cleaners? Does it render them useless or does it just mess up the appearance? Also, do these cleaners have the same effect on the polypropylene?

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:05 PM   #6
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Aired Ale,

I know ss is cheaper through proflow; however, I think their prices have been rising in the stainless 1/2" series... The coupler is only $0.12 cheaper than the 3/4" and the adapter is more expensive! I believe this is due to Bobby M's videos making them more popular...

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:06 PM   #7
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i got an email from them that stated the polypropylene are not food safe.

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:11 PM   #8
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Did they offer any more detail than that? Not food safe to use a single time or not safe for any prolonged use? Because in brewing you're supposed to replace all plastic equipment every year or so?

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:27 PM   #9
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Sorry i thought i posted the email in the review thread but i didn't, and i didn't save the email. Just email Dave he will let you know. He just told me they don't use food grade polypropylene. I didn't press any further and just went with SS>

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:35 PM   #10
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Thanks brother!

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