Pipe fittings are components used to join pipe sections together with other fluid control products like valves and pumps to create pipelines. The common connotation for the term fittings is associated with the ones used for metal and plastic pipes which carry fluids. There are also other forms of pipe fittings that can be used to connect pipes for handrails and other architectural elements, where providing a leak-proof connection is not a requirement. Pipe fittings may be welded or threaded, mechanically joined, or chemically adhered, to name the most common mechanisms, depending on the material of the pipe.
There is some inconsistency in terminology surrounding the terms pipe, tube, and tubing. Therefore, the term pipe fittings will sometimes be mentioned in the context of tubing as well as pipe. While similar in shape to tube fittings, pipe fittings are seldom joined by methods such as soldering. Some methods overlap, such as the use of compression fittings, but where these are commonplace for connecting tubes or tubing, their use in pipe connections is rarer. It suffices to say that while there are general distinctions, the common usage of terms can differ from supplier-to-supplier, although they represent the same items.
In this article, the concentration will be on discussing typical fittings and connection methods associated with rigid pipe and piping, with a limited presentation of the fittings that are associated with flexible tubes, tubing, or hose.
Read more: Understanding Pipe Fittings