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Facts you should know about Pipe Fitting in 2021

How did pipe fitting emerge?
Have you ever wondered that when you turn the valve of your sink, what causes the water to gush out of the tap? What causes gas to leak from your gas cylinder to your stove when you need flames to satisfy a midnight hunger? Pipes, to be precise. Pipes have been around for a long time. Traveling from a faraway source to the destination of your doorstep, via the walls and directly under our feet, pipes constitute a larger supply framework of pipelines that simplifies our life multifold. Our forefathers invented this technology in 5000BC and with it emerged pipe fitting.

What are the changes seen in pipe fitting techniques?
Since then, a little-known advancement has been made in this area, and pipe fitting technology has remained ‘ancient’ for nearly 5000 years. Things, however, are changing. In the piping industry, innovations in pipe fitting have proven to be game-changing. What equipment and techniques are used in pipe fitting? What are these “long-awaited” new inventions, exactly? What are some of the prominent materials of construction and their advantages over others? Let’s find out.

Pipe fitting? Never heard about that!

What is pipe fitting?

Pipe fitting is simply the installation and repair of pipes and tubes. We often experience situations where we must alter, break, reduce, avoid, or reverse the flow of fluid through pipes, as we know, pipes are used to move liquid or sometimes gas from one point to another. Pipefitters, also known as ‘fitters,’ are mostly responsible for this. It is mainly accomplished via the interface between two pipes, which is used to link them. Depending on the desired outcome, these interfaces are carefully chosen. Plastic, copper, aluminum, carbon steel, and other materials are used to make pipes. A pipe fitter’s role is to ensure that the correct pipe material is used for the correct purpose and setting.

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What are pipe fitting connections like?
Pipe fittings usually refer to the components employed to join pipe sections together with numerous fluid control products like valves, compressors, and pumps to construct the pipelines. In today’s generation, the common connotation of fittings is attributed to only metal and plastic pipes which carry fluids. There are numerous other variations of pipe fittings that are prominently being used to establishing a network of connecting pipes for handrails and other architectural elements. These fittings usually undergo multiple processes to acclimatize to the required application: they can be welded or threaded, chemically adhered, or mechanically joined depending on various factors including the material of the pipe. This means that pipefitters are usually trained for welding skills along with other demands of the job.

How to choose pipe fitting materials?

Choosing the material of the pipes is dependent on various factors: environment, the material properties of the fluid flowing, specific desirable characteristics and working conditions, etc. Metal pipes, for example, corrode quickly in acidic environments, so plastic or PVC pipes are the better options. Repairing and maintaining pipes is another duty that falls on the shoulders of a pipe fitter. Any pipe has a maximum age, beyond which it must be replaced or repaired if it reaches that age or if it develops an unforeseen fault that may result in disastrous events.

What are the different interfaces or pipe fittings?

Interfaces are also known as pipe fittings. Pipe fittings are used to regulate the flow of material inside the pipe. Depending upon the material flow to be achieved appropriate pipe fitting is selected. There are many different categories in pipe fittings. Some are given below.

  • Pipe elbows– pipe elbows are used to change the direction of the flow of material to a specific angle.
  • Tee structures– connecting three pipes at one point can be established by a tee joint or tee structure.
  • Reducers– Depending upon the ratio of the area between inlet and outlet of the reducer the flow of material is reduced. The higher the area of inlet or lower the area of outlet, the lower the rate of flow of material.

Different types of pipe fittings

  • End caps– as the name suggests it is attached to the end of the pipe to stop the are further flow of material out of the pipe.
  • U bend– this fitting is used to reverse the flow of material by turning the flow 180˚.

Common techniques that pipefitters use

Different techniques in pipe fitting

  • Pipe bending– Three rollers, two on one side and one on the other side of the metal pipe are used to give the pipe a bend of a specific radius. The radius of the bend is determined by pressure exerted by rollers on the pipe.
  • Buttweld– Pipe fittings that allow for flow to divert, or make it split in multiple pipes and are weldable, are subjected to butt-welding. Mainly, stainless-steel fittings are butt-welded as it is more cost-efficient.
  • Forged fittings– This is a technique of manufacturing fittings, with certain advantages over other techniques of manufacturing. Fittings made from other techniques such as welded fittings, malleable iron fittings, etc. are less durable than forged fittings. When molten metal is poured into a fitting-shaped Mould and then cooled slowly we get forged fitting.
  • Abrasion resistance– This technique is used in pipe fitting to reduce the wear of pipes from the continuous flow of material inside them. In this technique, the ordinary metal pipe is coated with ceramic from the inside. This coat helps to reduce corrosion from inside of the pipe.

What’s new in pipe fitting?

Because of obsolete pipe fitting techniques that are still used in this day and age, a lot of labor and time is lost. The companies in the piping industry have spent a lot of money on these old methods. What can change this? What new approaches and resources are available to help with this problem? Let’s see what happens.

  • Alignment clamps– During the welding process, this tool is used to align steel pipes. These claps have teeth that apply pressure to the pipe to properly align it. These clamps have a t-handle on top that can be used to change the size of a pipe and can also be used on round pipes.
  • Electrode grinders– Electrode grinders are highly advanced machines that are used to remove excess welding materials from welded joints and reduce the size of pipes with millimeter-level accuracy.
  • Purge monitors– Purge monitors are sensors that detect the amount of oxygen in a given location. These monitors are used to detect the presence of oxygen and other oxides in the welding field. The concentration of oxygen can be kept under control by using these monitors. Metal oxides appear on the metal surface where welding is being performed due to high temperatures. These impurities make the weld weaker and later creates failures in fittings.


  1. High-Pressure Elbow- Connections and Application

One of the most crucial components in the pipe fittings includes a high-pressure elbow that comprises of a curved pipe bending- with a unique characteristic of having a connected shunt straight channel.  These are reasonable structures that aim at evenly distributing the piping stress, facilitating convenient operation, reduced the pipeline resistance, and eventually optimizes the pipeline arrangement that is highly economically viable due to cheap investments, reduced operational costs, reduced piping vibrations, ensuring long life and safe operation of the equipment and pipeline. This part of the pipe is usually constructed with cast iron, stainless steel, alloy steel, nonferrous metals, etc. The connection thus established can be flange, thread, socket, or spigot joint.

  1. Pipe fitting conjunction – Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most preferred materials in the manufacturing of components of pipe fitting. The main advantages of stainless steel being; Simplified operation: The conjunction of stainless steel is easy to manufacture and can be professionally operated through simple training.  This is mainly attributed to the fact that stainless steel exhibits stabilized engineering quality, raised working efficiency, and overcomes the complexities involved in the installation technology. Ease in maintenance: The unique flexibility, characteristics like anti-shock, anti-shrinkage, welding, and expansion exhibited by stainless grooves tend to be more adaptable to temperature changes, and reduces the damage to major structural components.

  1. Main attributes in pipe fitting

Usually, through various components like bends and fittings, depending on the length of the system, pressure drops can be significant. For multiple such constrictions in the construction and minimal inclusion of straight pipes, these losses play a huge role and are thus to be engineered carefully by computing the equivalent length of such pipes for each component. Thus pipeline engineers play a crucial role in maintaining efficiency in the long run by verifying the minor losses in the construction.

As we can see, the job of a pipefitter is manifold. They are responsible for holding constructions together. With such a demanding and fulfilling nature of work, it is noted that a career as a pipefitter is definitely in high demand. Many industries find the use of trained and certified pipefitters in the job. With training in different skills such as welding, pipefitters are a valued asset in the industry and have various job opportunities all over the globe. You can become a certified pipefitter with training in as little as 6 months. With one of the best plumbing trade schools in Philadelphia, you can give your career the boost it needs. With construction on the rise and economies getting back stability, pipefitter training is going to pay off with a great career for future success.

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