Pipe Fitting

A pipe fitting is a component of a pipeline, other than a pipe, which allows pipeline deviation, change of direction or bore.
Pipe fitting or pipefitting is the occupation of installing or repairing piping or tubing systems that convey liquid, gas, and occasionally solid materials. This work involves selecting and preparing pipe or tubing, joining it together by various means, and the location and repair of leaks.

Pipe fitting work is done in many different settings: HVAC, manufacturing, hydraulics, refineries, nuclear-powered supercarriers and fast-attack submarines, computer chip fabrication plants, power plant construction, and other steam systems. Pipe fitters (sometimes called simply “fitters”) are represented in the USA and Canada by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada.
Pipefitters work with a variety of pipe and tubing materials including several types of steel, copper, iron, aluminium, and plastic. Pipe fitting is not plumbing; the two are related but separate trades. Pipe fitters who specialize in fire prevention are called Sprinklerfitters, another related, but separate trade.

Materials, techniques, and usages vary from country to country as different nations have different standards to install pipe.

Pipe fittings connect to steel pipes in one of two ways: by threads or by slip fit. Metal pipes are threaded, while plastic pipe can be threaded or slip fit. As the names indicate, threaded pipes screw together to connect, while slip fit pipes use sleeves that slip into one another. They are organized by male and female connectors as follows:

Male threaded: Threads are exterior, made to screw into the inside of a larger diameter pipe end with internal threading.
Female threaded: Threads are interior, made to receive male threaded fittings.
Male slip fit: No threads, made to slip into a slightly larger female sleeve.
Female slip fit: No threads, made to receive a narrower male slip fit.
The ends of pipe fittings are slightly larger than the rest of the pipe to accommodate connections without narrowing the inner diameter (ID) of the pipe. This keeps flow consistent. They are identified by pipe material, inner and outer diameter of the pipe, and the type of fitting — threaded or slip, male or female.
When purchasing pipe fittings, be sure to note that a fitting can have two different connector types. One end of the fitting might be male threaded, the other female threaded. In the case of plastic fittings, one end might be male slip while the other end is threaded. Fittings might also have matching ends — a variance to accommodate any requirement.

Types of Fittings

External Links & References

  1. Sewerage Code of Australia
  2. How to get high quality pipe fittings
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