Pipe and fitting components are widely used in plumbing systems to join tubing sections and straight pipes to adapt to varied shapes and sizes. Sometimes, they may also be used to regulate or measure fluid flow. While plumbing is more often used for facilitating conveyance of gas, liquid or water in domestic environments, pipe and fitting is more related to high performance conveyance of liquids in special applications.
Pipe fitting materials
There is an entire gamut of materials used for manufacturing pipe and fitting components. The one that you choose depends on the purpose of your fitting. Some of the most commonly used materials used for manufacturing pipe and fitting include:
• Carbon steel
• Stainless steel
• Low temperature service carbon steel
• Malleable iron
• Alloy steel
• Non-metallic materials, such as tempered glass, PVC, ABS, GRE, HDPE etc.
• Non-ferrous metals, such as cupro-nickel, incoloy, inconel etc.
Usually, the body of pipe and fittings is same as the material of pipe to be connected, such as steel, copper, PVC, CPVC, ABS etc. Therefore, any material that you choose should be compatible with the rest of the entire system, the fluid to be transported, and the pressure and temperature both inside and out. Earthquake resistance, fire hazards, and other such factors can also affect the selection of your pipe fitting materials.
Types of pipe fitting components
Some of the pipe fitting components commonly used in piping and plumbing systems include:
• Elbow- Installed between two pipe or tubes to allow change of direction
• Coupling- Used for connecting two pipes together, with an aim to extend the length of a pipe
• Union- Similar to coupling, it is used to allow convenience and quick disconnection of pipes for fixture replacement or maintenance purposes
• Reducer- Used for changing pipe size to meet flow requirements of a system, or to adapt to an existing pipe of different size
• Olet- Used whenever a branch connection is needed in size, but reducing Tee is not available.
• Tee- Used to split or combine flow of a fluid, commonly available with all solvent weld sockets, opposed solvent weld sockets, side outlets and female thread sockets
• Cap- Usually gas or liquid tight, used for covering the end of pipes
• Plug- Used to close off a pipe's end. Similar to cap, but it is fitted inside the fitting
• Nipple- A short stub of pipe used to connect two other fittings, such as hoses, pipes and funnels
• Barb- Used to connect a flexible hose to a pipe
• Valve- Used for stopping or regulating flow of liquid, condensate, gas, slurry, stem etc. in its path.