What is a buttweld pipe fitting?
Buttweld Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel Pipe Fittings
Buttweld pipe fittings comprises of long radius elbow, concentric reducer, eccentric reducers and Tees etc. Butt weld stainless steel and carbon steel fittings are an important part of industrial piping system to change direction, branch off or to mechanically join equipment to the system. Buttweld fittings are sold in nominal pipe sizes with specified pipe schedule. BW fitting’s dimensions and tolerances are defined as per ASME standard B16.9.
Butt welded Pipe fittings such as carbon steel and stainless steel offer many advantages compared to threaded and socketweld fittings. The later are only available up to 4-inch nominal size whereas butt weld fittings are available in sizes from ½” to 72”. Some of the benefits of weld fittings are;
- Welded connection offers more robust connection
- Continuous metal structure adds to the strength of the piping system
- Butt-weld fittings with matching pipe schedules, offers seamless flow inside the pipe. A full penetration weld and properly fitted LR 90 Elbow, Reducer, Concentric reducer etc. offers gradual transition via welded pipe fitting.
All buttweld pipe fittings have beveled ends as per ASME B16.25 standard. This helps create full penetration weld without any extra preparation needed for the butt weld fitting.
Butt weld pipe fittings are most commonly available in carbon steel, stainless steel, nickel alloy, aluminum and high yield material. High yield butt weld carbon steel pipe fittings are available in A234-WPB, A234-WPC, A420-WPL6, Y-52, Y-60, Y-65, Y-70. All WPL6 pipe fittings are annealed and are NACE MR0157 and NACE MR0103 compatible.
Trupply is one of the largest distributors of pipe flanges and fittings. We handle hundreds of requests every day. Some of the common misconceptions people have are;
- They call BW fittings in A105 material: Most common carbon steel buttweld fitting material is A234WPB. It is equivalent to A105 flanges, however there is no such thing as A105 or A106 butt weld fitting
- They request “Normalized” butt weld fittings: This is also a misconception since flanges are available in A105 and A105 N, where N stands for normalized. However, there is no such thing as A234WPBN. Some manufactures normalize their butt weld fittings as a standard procedure and such request require checking individual MTRs to verify if normalized heat treating process was done. Customer needing “normalized” butt weld fittings should request WPL6 fittings which are high yield and are normalized as a standard procedure
- They forget to mention pipe schedule: Buttweld fittings are sold as per pipe size but pipe schedule must be specified to match the ID of the fitting to the ID of the pipe. If no schedule is mentioned, we will assume a standard wall is requested.
- Differentiate between SCH 40 and True Schedule 40: Pipe fittings 12 inch or larger require specifying if fitting is standard wall (most commonly referred to sch 40) or a true schedule 40 is required. This is needed since schedule 40 do NOT correspond to standard wall for pipe sizes 12” and bigger. A true sch 40 will be thicker than standard wall for pipe fittings 12” or bigger.
- Stainless Steel butt weld pipe fittings are available in schedule 10s: Customer should specify if they need standard wall (sch 40s) or a thinner wall sch 10s stainless steel butt weld fitting. See pipe chart to clarify how the wall thickness for stainless steel pipes correlated to different pipe schedules.
- They forget to mention welded or seamless butt weld fitting: Butt weld fittings are available in both welded and seamless configuration. A seamless butt weld carbon steel or stainless steel fitting is made of seamless pipe and is generally more expenses. Seamless pipe fitting is NOT common in sizes bigger than 12”. Welded pipe fittings are made of ERW welded carbon steel or stainless steel pipe. They are available in sizes ½” to 72” and are more affordable than seamless fittings.
What does Short Radius (SR) or Long Radius (LR) means?
You will often hear SR45 elbow or LR45 elbow. The 45 or 90 refers to the angle of the bend for butt weld fitting to change the direction of flow. A long radius elbow (LR 90 Elbow or LR 45 elbow) will have a pipe bend that will be 1.5 times the size of the pipe. So, a 6 inch LR 90 has bending radius that is 1.5 x nominal pipe size. A short radius elbow (SR45 or SR90) has pipe bend that is equal to the size of fitting so a 6” SR 45 has bending radius that is 6” nominal pipe size.
What is a 3R or 3D elbow pipe fitting?
First, the term 3R or 3D are used synonymously. A 3R butt weld elbow has bending radius that is 3 times the nominal pipe size. A 3R elbow is smoother than SR or LR fitting.
A concentric reducer buttweld fitting is symmetrical: both ends are aligned along the center.
An eccentric reducer butt weld fitting is not symmetrical: ends are off center of one another.
Trupply is an authorized distributor of Weldbend which is one of the largest manufacturer of domestic butt weld fittings and flanges. Trupply also offers approved and unapproved import pipe fittings for more cost-conscious customers. All butt weld fittings are provided material test reports (MTR).
- Asif Ehtesham