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Piping Lines and Fittings Introduction Fluids are transported under pressure through hollow materials called lines. The common three types of fluid lines are pipes, tubes, and hoses. These lines must provide leak proof passage at the required operating pressure of the system. Standard pressure rating of pressure system varies from 125 psig to 6000 psig. Test pressures are normally higher than the operating pressures. The operating pressure is greatly influenced by the operating temperature. Generally, the mechanical strength of materials decreases with increasing temperature, so operating pressures are determined by the operating temperatures. Selecting a proper line is an important function in piping system design. Pipes Pipes are rigid hollow cylinders used for transporting fluids. They are made of materials such as steel, cast iron, plastic, etc. Pipe Materials Pipes may be made from metals, plastic, concrete, and glass. Cast iron pipes are popular for underground water, gas and sewer applications. Steel is perhaps the most popular pipe material. Steel pipes are strong, durable and can stand high temperature. They are often used to handle water, oil, petroleum and steam. Stainless steel pipes are used in corrosive environments and food processing facilities. Copper and copper alloys are corrosion resistant, good for food processing and instrument lines. Copper tubes are used for steam, air and oil piping. Plastic pipes are used extensively in piping systems today, especially in plumbing. They have high resistance to corrosion and chemical degradation but cannot withstand high pressures and temperatures. Concrete pipes are pre-cast and are used mainly for underground application. Glass pipes are popular in the food, beverage, chemical, and pharmaceutical plants. Their application is limited to temperatures of 450oF (230oC). Pipe Manufacture Pipes are manufactured by two main methods. These are seamless and welding methods. Seamless pipe production involves piercing a solid near-molten steel rod called a billet with a mandrel. The mandrel size determines the inside diameter of the pipe. Welded pipes are made from rolled steel plates and may be buttwelded or spiral-welded. Fig. 1 shows pipes of seamless, butt-welded or spiral-welded type.

a) Seamless

b) Rolled

c) Spiral-welded

Fig. 1: Pipe manufacturing methods In butt-welded pipes, the steel plate is heated and fed through special rollers that bend and join the ends of the plate into a pipe. Spiral welded pipes are made from twisted strips of metals and welded in spiral form. This is the least common of the pipe making methods. ASME B31.1.0 assigns strength factors of 100%, 85% and 60% to seamless, butt- and spiral-welded pipes, respectively. Pipe Sizes The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has standardized pipe sizes. Pipes are specified by the nominal pipe size (NPS) in English units. It is used as a reference or designation for a pipe size. The metric system assigns DN (Nominal Diameter) sizes to pipes. Table 1 gives pipe sizes in common use. The normal

range of pipe sizes for process pipe is 1/8 to 48. However, stock size range is from to 24. Sizes outside the normal ranges may be obtained by special order. Pipe sizes of 1/8 to 1 are usually for service and instrument lines. The common process pipe sizes are often more than 4 and can be as much as 48 in diameter. English Metric English Metric English Metric (NPS: in) (DN: mm) (NPS: in) (DN: mm) (NPS: in) (DN: mm) 1/8 6 6 150 30 750 8 8 200 32 800 3/8 10 10 250 36 900 15 12 300 40 1000 20 14 350 42 1100 1 25 16 400 48 1200 1 * 32 18 450 54 1400 1 40 20 500 60 1500 2 50 22 550 64 1600 2 * 65 24 600 72 1800 3 80 26 650 80 2000 4 100 28 700 88 2200 Table 1: Common pipe sizes (*For special applications. Not used in new designs) NPS of 1/8 to 12 is designation for a size only. It is not equal to the outside or inside diameter of the pipe, but is close enough to the inside diameter for most calculations. NPS above of 14 and above refers to the outside diameter of the pipe. The outside diameter of a pipe is its inside diameter plus twice its wall thickness. The outside diameter of all pipe sizes is fixed. The NPS helps in knowing the outside diameter of pipe; usually by referring to a table of pipe sizes. The inside diameter of a pipe is the outside diameter minus twice its wall thickness. Pipe wall thickness is standardized in ANSI B36.10M-1985, schedule # 5 to 160. Thickness varies with weight and size of pipe and higher schedule # represents thicker pipes. The outside diameter is fixed (Fig. 2) but the wall thickness can vary depending on the schedule #. Pipe thickness is also described as standard, strong and extra strong. Standard thickness corresponds roughly to schedule 40 and extra-strong thickness is about schedule 80. The pressure rating of pipes is an important parameter in their specification. Pressure standards range from 150 psig (1 MPa) to 2500 psig (16.7 MPa) for non-shock conditions. Allowed pressure is greatly influenced by operating temperature. Thicker pipes are normally required for higher pressure applications. The commonly used schedule numbers are 40, 80, and 160. Schedule 40 or standard (SD) seamless pipes are usually used for low pressure applications. Schedule 80 or extra strong (XS) seamless pipes are designed for medium pressure applications; while schedule160 pipes or double extra strong (XXS) pipes are designed for high pressure applications.

a) Standard

b) Extra Strong (XS) Fig. 2: Pipe thickness and schedules

c) Double extra strong (XXS)

OD = Outside diameter; OD = ID + 2T ID = Inside diameter; ID = OD - 2T T = wall thickness T = 0.5(OD ID)

Pipe Representations Single or double lines are used to represent pipes in piping diagrams and drawings. Single line representation uses a single thick line to represent the centerline of a pipe. This technique is easy and fast to create. Double line representation use double lines to represent the nominal pipe size with a center line at the middle. Double line representations are more realistic and are found in piping drawings but these can be obtained from 3D models by projection techniques. Fig. 3 shows single and double line representations of pipe joints and connections.

a) Single line Fig. 3: Pipe representations

b) Double line

Fig. 4 shows correct and incorrect layout of reducers at vertical and horizontal bends. The correct layouts are shown on the left of Fig. 4a and Fig. 4b. Reducer must be placed such that air bubbles are not trapped in the pipe. At control stations, drain points are placed on flat portions of reducers, so eccentric reducers are generally required.

Correct a) Vertical


Correct b) Horizontal


Fig. 4: layout of reducers in pipe runs Tubes Tubes are hollow semi-rigid cylinders used for transporting fluids. They have outside diameters less than 4, but usually 2 and less. The nominal size of tubes refers to the outside diameter of the tube. Tubes are more flexible than pipes and may be made from steel, copper, aluminum and plastics. Steel tubes are made from low-carbon ductile steels with a minimum elongation of 30%. Copper tubes are normally restricted to hydraulic service due to their tendency to work-harden when flared and because copper is an oil-oxidizing catalyst. They are easier to bend thus reducing the need for fittings such as elbows. Aluminum tubes have good flaring and bending characteristics but are suitable only for low pressure applications. Plastic tubes are commonly made from nylon, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene, and polypropylene. Nylon tubes are used for pressures up to 250 psig and in the temperature range of -100 oF to 225 oF. Polyvinyl tubes may be used for pressures up to 125 psig in temperatures not exceeding 100 oF on continuous bases and up to 160 oF, intermittently. Polyethylene tubes are ideal for pneumatic service and are also good for low-pressure applications. Polyethylene has great dimensional stability, resists most chemicals and solvents and can be

manufactured in different colors (color coding). Polypropylene tubes are suitable in the temperature range of -20 oF to 280 oF. Polypropylene has good abrasive resistance. Hoses Hoses are flexible tubes. They have an inner lining that prevents fluid from leaking out, a reinforced thickness that determines its strength, and an outer covering that resists abrasion, heat, and weather. The inner lining is either an oil resistant synthetic rubber (e,g. neoprene) or an oil resistant thermoplastic. The reinforcement material fiber braids or spiral steel wires. Strong reinforcement means less flexible hose. The outer protective covering is made of similar material as the inside lining. The nominal size of hoses refers to the inside diameter of the hose. Hoses are suitable in situations where one end of a fluid conduit moves independently of the other. They are simple to route, have little or no thermal expansion problems, and can withstand vibrations. Hoses must have appropriate end fittings for proper connections. Working pressures could range form 300 psig to 12,000 psig. Generally, fiber reinforced hose is used for low pressure, single and double wire braids for medium pressure, and 4 to 6 spiral wire braids for high pressure situations. Line Specifications Basic: Line number-Pressure-Class-NPS Example: 104-A15-6 Full: Unit Number-Zone Number-Line number-Pressure Class-NPS-Service Code Example: 02-08-104-A15-6-ST(2-1/4)

Fig. 5: Line specification Service Code Heat tracing symbols: ET-Electric Traced; SJ-Steam Jacketed; ST-Steam with tracers (Number-Size) Insulation symbols: IC-Cold; IH-Hot; IS-Safety; PP-Personal Protection Balloon diagrams are used to indicate pipe specifications in piping diagrams and drawings. Balloons are usually 0.25 thick and 1 long. Fig. 4 shows some methods of indicating pipe run specification.

Pipe fittings are components that are attached to pipes so as to ensure proper connections between different segments of a pipe run. A pipe run is a series of pipe segments and fittings between two equipments or between equipment and a pipe branch. Fittings allow a pipe run to change direction, pipe size or branches. Fittings are types: connectors and joints. Connectors allow two segments of a pie run to be joined into one unit while joints allows two or more segments to form detachable or permanent unit. The two types of fitting connectors commonly used in industrial piping are welded and screwed fittings. Fig. 2.13 shows some welded pipe fittings. Connectors are fittings used to change the flow direction of fluid in a pipe, enlarge or reduce the pipe size, or provide means of attachment for instrumentation. Among them are elbows, olets, nipples, outlets, and swages. Connectors may be welded or screwed to pipes. Weldolets (simply Olets) are small connectors of welds and screws. Elbows are designed with centerline radius of 1.5 times the NPS for NPS greater than 0.75. The 90o elbow is the most common. Fig 6 shows some flange connectors.


Common welded fittings are 90o elbow, 90o reducing elbow, 45o elbow, straight tee (ST), reducing tee (RT), cross, concentric reducer, eccentric reducer, cap, straight lateral, and reducing lateral. Elbows change pipe run direction by the angle in its name. A 90o elbow effects a 90o change of direction in a pipe run while a 45o elbow effects a 45o change in direction in a pipe run. A 90o reducing elbow changes a pipe run direction and reduces the pipe size also. A reversal of direction is achieved by using a 180o elbow. Mitered elbows are made by cutting and welding straight pipe pieces. They can have two, three, or more welded joints. Metered elbows produce more turbulence than standard elbows, so they are not often used in industrial piping. However, they are popular in ventilation duck works. The tees are used to create branches in pipe runs. The straight tee has equal pipe size in all three branches and the reducing tee has a different pipe size in one of the three branches. A cross has four branches. Reducers create a change in pipe size. A concentric reducer tapers equally about the pipe central axis while an eccentric reducer tapers with an offset about the pipe central axis. Either the top or bottom or an eccentric reducer is flushed with the larger diameter side. A lateral fitting provides a 45o branch at to the main pipe central axis and may be straight or reducing. A Y-lateral has two branches inclined at 45o to the central axis of the third branch. It has the appearance of a Y. Fig. 7 shows some applications of some weld fittings.

Fig. 7: Application of some weld fittings

Screw Fittings Screw fittings are used mainly in 3000 psig and 6000 psig pressure classes and include union, half coupling, Street elbow, bushing, and plug. A union creates a detachable joint in a pipe run and so allows a pipe run to be dis-assembled without tearing the run down. It has two threaded sleeves and a union ring and is used to create a joint on a straight portion of a pipe run. A coupling has internal threads at both ends (TBE: threaded at both ends) and is used to join two segments of a pipe run. A half coupling is threaded at one end (TOE). It is welded to pipes on the unthreaded end and used for instrument connections. The instrument is screwed to the threaded end. A street elbow is a 90o elbow with internal threads at one end and external threads at the other end. It eliminates the need for a nipple (a short piece of threaded pipe). Bushing is a reducer used to connect a small pipe to a larger fitting. A plug has external threads in one ends and is used to seal a pipe run. Fig. 8 shows several screw connectors

Fig. 8: Some screw fittings Weldolets When small fittings are directly welding a component to a pipe segment to create branches, they are called weldolets. They can accept welded, socket-welded, screwed, and brazed pipes. There different types of weldolets: straightolet, sweepolet, insertolet, sockolet, coupolet, threadolet, latrolet, elbolet, nipolet, brazolet, etc. Various kinds of olets are shown in Fig. 9.

Fig. 9: Some weldolets PIPING JOINTS Pipe joints ensure proper connection between two or more segments of pipes. They form the interface between the ends of pipe segment and connectors. Three common pipe joints are flanged, welded and screwed. Figs. 10 and 11 show samples of these joints. Flanged joints are used when occasional disassembling and re-assembling of components are required. The flanges are often bolted or glued together. The outside diameter of a flange is greater than the pipe diameter. Most flanges are forged steel cast iron and iron and have evenly spaced bolt-holes. They occupy the most space compared to other types of joints. There

are different kinds of flanges: slip-on, weld-neck, blind, orifice, etc. A gasket is placed between the two faces of the flanges. It acts as a sealant and provides resilience in the joint for accommodating slight misalignments. Fig. 10 shows some types of flanges and gasket requirement. Joint Types Welded joints are used in situations of high pressures and temperatures or when permanent joints are preferred. Butt-welding with beveled end is the most common method for joining pipes. The weld is strong, leak-proof, and needs little or no maintenance. Welded joints use smaller spaces compared to the other types. Screwed joints are used in applications with 2.5 pipe diameter or less where temperatures and pressures are low. It is least leak-proof joint compared to the others. The threads are usually coated with a special lubricant to ease the connection process and seal the joint. There are also threaded olets like weldolets. They come in various sizes. 6 olets may be found in some installations.

a) Butt-welded joint Fig.10: Types of permanent joints

b) Socket-welded joint

a) Flanged joint

b) Screw joint Fig. 11: Types of detachable joints

Flange Types Weld neck flange: Disk with a long hub or neck. Disk has holes for bolting. Hub welded to pipe. The hub inside diameter is the same as inside diameter of pipe. Common as nuzzles on tanks and vessels. Weld neck flanges are the most reliable flanges and are employed where bending loads are expected. They are placed on pipes at locations of fittings and instruments. It is used in severe service such as high temperatures and pressures or cryogenic conditions. Slip-on Flange: Disk with very short hub. Disk has holes for bolting. Flange slips over pipe during construction. Used mostly for mounting valves in lines. Reducer/Expander Flange: Functions as flange and reducer or expander. Need to be sure of specification before application.

Threaded Flange: Similar to slip-on flange, but has a threaded bore so that it can be assembled without welding. Threaded flanges are used in high pressure and normal temperature conditions, especially where welding may create hazard. Seal weld is sometimes used on the threads to minimize leakage. Socket Weld Flange: Similar to slip-on flange, but has a bore a recess for welding it to pipes. Used in high pressure; small diameter size (4 or less). May be welded in the inside but must be ground smooth to minimize turbulence. Lap-joint Flange: Consists of disk and stub hub. Disk is similar to slip-on flange and can be made of carbon steel. Stub hub is made of stainless steel. Lap flange is used as joint in mainly stainless steel pipes. Blind Flange: Disk without central hole that is used as temporary seal for a pipe. It is used where future expansion is anticipated. Orifice Flange: Special flanges used with an orifice place to create orifice flow meter. Each orifice flanges has two drilled and tapped hole (0.5 diameter for NPS of 4 or larger) either at 90o or 180o apart. Orifice meter consists of two orifice flanges bolted together with the orifice plate and gaskets between the flanges.

a) Flat face (FF) flange

b) Raised face (RF) flange

c) Ring joint face (RJF) flange d) Flange assembly elements Fig. 12: Some types of flanges Flange Face Styles Flanges have different face designs or styles such as flat, raised, or ring-joint face. Flat face flanges have level connecting surfaces. These are commonly found in 150# and 300# forged steel flanges. These are used to connect with 125# and 250# cast iron flanges to ensure full surface contact, thus minimizing the cracking of brittle cast iron flanges. Raised face flanges have a raised face within the bolt circle diameter. Contact in assemble joint occurs over the raised face which is 1/16 thick for 150# and 300# flanges and for 400#

and above. The raised faced flange is the most common type of flange face design. The raised face thickness for 400# and above must be added to flange dimensions. This is not necessary to the smaller size flanges. The ring-type joint is similar to the raised face joint but has a groove that accommodates a metallic ring gasket. This considered to most efficient joint seal in piping systems. Nozzle Projections Nozzles provide points of connection between equipment and fluid lines. A is an integral component of equipment and nozzle consists of a flange and a hub. The flange usually has a number of bolt holes that allow a fluid line to be joined by bolting. A gasket is always placed between the two flanges in the joint. The projection of nozzle is the perpendicular distance between the flange face and the body of the equipment. The projection is influenced by nozzle size but is normally the same value for all small nozzles and another fixed value for all large nozzles. For example, all maintenance holes (nozzles) would have the same projection while other smaller nozzles have a smaller but the same projection. Table 2 gives some suggestions. Nozzle Size (in) Suggested Projection (in) Table 2: Nozzles and projections <8 6 8 - 12 9 > 12 12

Gaskets: Gaskets are materials used primarily to ensure proper sealing of flanged joints. They can compensate to very small misalignment too. Gaskets are made of materials softer than the other joint materials. They may be made of copper, lead, asbestos, rubber, Teflon, or neoprene. The three types of gaskets common in piping systems are full face, flat ring and metal ring. Full face gaskets are used on flat face flanges, flat ring gaskets are used on raised face flanges and metal ring gaskets are used on ring-type joint flanges. Gaskets may be made of various materials and thickness, but the 1/16 and 1/8 thick are quite popular in process piping. Threaded Fasteners: Bolts and studs are the common threaded fasteners used in flanged pipe joints. Piping joint stud is a headless fastener with cylindrical shank that is threaded. Nuts are used on both ends in assembling. Studs are commonly used in piping systems. A bolt is a fastener with a cylindrical shank that has a head and is threaded on the other end. An unthreaded portion lies between the bolt head and the threaded end. Studs and bolts in piping systems are available in two grades: A-193-B7 and A-193-B16. B7 grade bolts are used for temperatures up to 1000oF and B16 are used when temperatures are above 1000oF. Bolt holes in flanges are in even numbers: 4, 8, 12, 16, etc. Bolt circle diameter and bolt sizes of flanges of the same pressure rating are designed to match. ANSI standards require all flanges to have a bolt align vertically or horizontally with center lines of pipes or equipments, except otherwise noted on drawings. A thread specification provides necessary information about the thread for manufacture or purchase. Threads may be specified in basic or detailed form. Fig. 13a shows a basic specification of a Metric thread while Fig. 13b shows a detail specification. Fig. 14a and 14b show the basic and detail specification of threads respectively in the English units. Table 3 gives the interpretations of the thread elements shown in Fig. 13 while Table 4 gives the interpretation of the thread specifications interpretations of the thread elements shown in Fig. 13. The threads per inch (TPI) element of English thread, is the reciprocal of the thread pitch.

a) Basic specification b) Detail specification Fig. 13: Metric thread specifications

ITEM Description ITEM 1 Metric thread identifier 5 2 Major diameter (mm) 6 3 Separator 4 Pitch (mm) Table 3: Interpreting Metric thread specification Description Major diameter tolerance specification Minor diameter tolerance specification

a) Basic specification b) Full specification Fig. 14: English thread specifications (Fig. 12)


Description Major diameter or Number reference


2 Threads per inch (TPI) 8 3 Unified National 9 4 Coarse (Series identifier) 10 5 Class 11 6 External thread (B = Internal thread) Table 4: Interpreting English thread specification (Fig. 13) Fig. 15 shows a basic specification of a metric bolt.

Description Left hand thread (RH = Right hand thread) Number of starts Separator Length value Length identifier

Fig. 15: Bolt