Follow our 12 step guide to choosing the perfect stainless steel fittings.
1. Assess your intended application
- Internal media? Eg. Sour gas
Assessing the intended application at the beginning of your search will determine very important factors about the pipe fitting you are looking for.
Example: If you are within the Hydraulic industry and are looking for Hydraulic functioning, you will be likely to buy a fitting with a high working pressure in a strong material.
2. Environmental Factors
List the environmental factors that may need to be taken into account.
This can include space saving and lifetime functionality factors.
Example 1: The effects of aqueous corrosion on an offshore compression fitting would require a metal with high corrosion resistance.
Example 2: Compact tubing within a small space will require fittings and valves that easily fit into the space without installation difficulties.
If you are working with a budget in mind, it should take into account issues such as:
- Urgency/Lead time
- Material prices (The quality/rarity of material and its main benefits)
- Possibility of future purchasing
- Quantity and sizing (The higher the quantity ordered, you can account for price breaks.)
- Bespoke items (The manufacture of unique fittings is possible and it will always cost more than standard)
4. Pressure Ratings, Safe Working Pressure (SWP)
Low Pressure – Lower pressures include 100-150 psi pipe fittings.
High Pressure – Higher pressures include 3000, 6000 and 10,000 psi.
Specialist fitting and instrumentation for subsea applications are commonly 15,000- 20,000psi .
5. Thread type and size
Thread types: Common thread types include BSPP, BSPT and NPT.
Imperial or metric sizing is often available across suppliers of pipe and tube fittings.
Double check to see if you will receive any on-going support from supplier or manufacturer?
If you require tubing with your fittings many suppliers are happy to offer this combined service.
Stainless Steel Tube
In step 8, you’ll want to make a note of any tube fitting accessories.
9. Related pipeline products
Same as step 8, but with related products that you may need in the future or to go alongside your current fittings purchase.
10. List of suppliers and manufacturers
Before making your finalised decision, it is important to weigh up the suppliers/manufacturers you have in mind.
Check the delivery options for ordering pipe fittings and tubing for your location.
We offer delivery options for customers within the UK and internationally, alongside various distributors sitting in the countries of South Africa, Italy and the United Arab Emirates.
Evaluation and alternatives
At this stage, you may wish to evaluate the companies you have found based on 1 most important factor that you cannot be swayed on. This may be lead time, price or specified product.
11. Customised Solution
If you are in need of manufacture-to-order fittings or valves, find an original manufacturer who can provide you with this service.
12. Finalising your purchase
Some suppliers will provide members log in that will allow you to search for the pipe fitting you need and then purchase on site.
Others, (such as Waverley Brownall) will require you to contact them initially and will respond with a quotation for goods and delivery estimates.
Part number (if applicable)
Manufacturers of tube and fittings will be able to provide you with the part numbers for ordering their products. Original manufacturers and suppliers will have their own part numbers for each individual, catalogued item, which makes gaining a quotation or buying a quick and painless process – especially for urgent requirements.
Example: 12M/12M BULK
If you do not have a part number for which compression or pipe fitting you wish to order, product descriptions can be used instead.
Example: Straight bulkhead union OD 12mm in stainless steel.
Common sizes for compression fittings are usually up to 1 or 2 inches for use with tube and pipe.
Choose the correct size for your fittings by measuring the tube outside diameter (OD) or inside diameter (ID) for the perfect fit. Manufacturers and suppliers of pipe fittings will vary in which measurement they use. For Waverley Brownall fittings, all our compression components are sized with tube outside diameter readings (OD.) Therefore, when ordering with us, if the tube OD of your application is 25mm, you should order 25mm OD fittings to match.
Top tip: Very basic fittings in brass or copper are mainly used for pipe and fittings in general plumbing applications. Standard materials for industry use will be in stainless steel 316 to cope with the higher pressures of more advanced pipeline systems.
With stainless steel 316 as the base, the option to further increase material advantages is available through purchasing an alloy with even more beneficial properties. An example would be, the purchase of x 100 16mm high pressure equal cross compression fittings in Incoloy 825.
Certain types of alloy are preferable within industries such as chemical and food processing due to the high percentage of media. Lower grades of alloy would find difficulties in coping with certain substances.
Top tip: Higher quantity orders for manufactured pipe fittings in standard materials will allow for price breaks.