What is Pipe Fittings?
Pipe fittings basically include the range of components that are used to connect pipe ends for in-line, multi-port, offset and mounting configurations. Pipe fitting cross sections are mostly, but not always, circular in shape to match with the pipe section with which they are connected. Pipes can be metallic or plastic and pipe fittings vary depending on the type of pipe used.
Pipe fittings are used for various purposes. They can be used to extend or terminate pipe runs, change a pipe’s direction, to connect two or more pipes and to change the pipe size.
Materials for Pipe Fittings
Selection Criteria for Pipe Fittings:
When purchasing pipe fittings, you should be aware of the fact that a fitting can have two different connector types.
Materials of construction
As a rule, the pipe fitting should be of the same material as the material used in the making of the pipe in which it is to be fitted. However, in some cases, materials conforming to certain codes or standards can also be used in pipes of another material.
Check for flow
To keep the flow consistent, the ends of pipe fittings should be slightly larger than the rest of the pipe so that they can accommodate connections without narrowing the inner diameter (ID) of the pipe.
Type of fitting
Besides pipe materials, pipe fittings are identified by the type of fitting — threaded or slip, male or female.
When measuring the size of pipe fittings, it is to be noted that the male threaded fittings are measured to the outside edge or OD, while female fittings are measured to the inside edge of the inlet or ID.
Just as pipes are available in a number of different thicknesses or "schedules", so also the pipe fittings.
Each pipe or tube is designed to carry certain specific types of fluids, liquids, gases, chemicals under varying conditions. Accordingly, the pipe fittings are also available in variety of designs.
Standards and codes
There are certain standards and codes set by various organizations by which the different pipe fittings are graded. For example, ASTM, ASME, BSP etc. are certain standards assigned to pipe fittings and those standards dictate their use.