General information on pipe fittings
Pipe fittings are pipe accessories that are installed in pipelines. These fittings come in many different forms, for example as pipe bends, T-pieces, Y-pieces, U-pipes, sleeves, pipe branches, pipe sockets or pipe caps.
Pipe bends often have an angle of 90 or 45 degrees and enable changes in the direction of pipelines. They are available with different bending radii. Pipe branches and tees can be used to divide or join fluids in pipes. T-pieces and bends can be designed as equilateral or as reducers. Reducers are used for installation at the transition between pipes with different nominal diameters. Sockets and double nipples are used to connect pipelines without changing direction.
Pipe fittings are available in different materials and designs, adapted to the respective area of application and the associated requirements. There are pipe fittings for soldering, pressing, screwing in and welding. The requirements for fittings for welding in are specified in EN 10253, requirements for fittings for screwing in in 10226-1 (pipe thread for thread-sealing connections).
Manufacture of pipe fittings
Pipe fittings are often made of steel or stainless steel. Pipe fittings can be made from seamless or welded pipes or from sheet metal or strip. Depending on the shape and requirements, processes such as bending, forging and welding are used. Fittings are also often made using casting processes. Casting creates a solid from liquid material in a mould. This process is very suitable for the mass production of components with complex shapes.
Applications of pipe fittings
Pipe fittings are used in the following areas, for example:
- Pipeline construction
- Plant engineering
- Apparatus engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Building services
- Water supply systems
Advantages of screw-in and weld-in pipe fittings
Screw-in fittings have the advantage over weld-in fittings that they are removable. However, welded connections between fittings and pipes give the system greater strength, as they result in a continuous metal structure between the components. In addition, welded fittings have a smaller footprint and smoother internal surfaces, which can reduce any turbulence or pressure loss.