Dielectric Fittings Prevent Shocking Results

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Thu, May 18, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

A buildup of static electricity can make a mess of analytical equipment


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Swagelok's dielectric fittings and adapters isolate monitoring instruments from the effects of electrical current; to find out more about dielectric fittings download the catalogue today.


As analytical instrumentation becomes more sophisticated and sensitive, it's more important than ever to protect the equipment by using dielectric fittings and adapters. They isolate the instruments from the effects of electrical currents and maintaining full fluid flow.

Running fluid through a line can cause a natural buildup of static electricity. If that ever reaches the metering device, it could make all your readings unreliable, or knock them out entirely. In a system running volatile fluids, a static discharge could cause an explosion.

The dielectric fitting itself is simple. It starts with the classic Swagelok design, then adds a thermoplastic insulator to prevent electricity conduction from a main area to a metering device. The design is unique in the way it separates the two primary functions of electrical insulation and fluid containment. Since the insulators are not primary seals, the material and design provide high dielectric strength over a wide range of operating and climactic conditions.

A Viton O-ring and TFE backup ring serve as the primary fluid seal. The seal is completely self-contained and requires no maintenance.

Too relaxed

No one sets out to create a problem in their fluid system design. What often happens is that people get used to a certain approach, and don't always take into account the changing technology. Some older analytical equipment was built in a way that required a large sample of chemical or mixture to meet the requirements for a good reading. Today's more sensitive equipment can get the job done with smaller samples, but also are more susceptible to an unwanted electrical change.

Someone who habitually falls back on "the way we have always done it" may even think they're saving a few dollars by using standard fittings. But it's foolish to cut corners by installing regular fittings. Dielectric fittings should be standard practice, especially in any areas that have been deemed intrinsically safe.

Take a look at the dielectric fittings in our catalogue, then call us at 780-437-0640 or contact us through our website to talk about integrating dielectric fittings into your system.


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Topics: Fittings, Measurement Devices

Sometimes Stainless Isn't Enough

Posted by Tristian McCallion on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 @ 10:03 AM

Special Alloys are used in unique applications where stainless steel cannot hold up to the corrosive material.


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Swagelok carries an array of special alloys to meet our customers requirements, to find out more about special alloy uses download our Special Alloy catalogue.


How many materials can you get Swagelok tube fittings in? Two? Five?  Would you believe that our standard material list includes 16 different materials from nylon to titanium?

316 stainless is our most common material and is good for 95% of applications in northern Alberta but there are some limitations.

Special alloys

In the SAGD world on the water treatment side, there is often an elevated chlorine level in the boiler water.  Chlorine and stainless steels don’t mix well and it is common to find stress corrosion cracking in applications that have high chloride levels and stainless steel fittings and tubing.  There are a number of other materials that we offer that can provide the necessary corrosion resistance in this type of application, like Monel, or our high temperature carbon steel.

This is just one application where we are able to help out with special alloys.  Some of the other materials that we can provide include:

Teflon and PFA:  PFA is the injection moldable version of Teflon.  These materials provide for excellent chemical resistance to a wide range of different fluids.  Water treatment facilities are large users of PFA and Teflon fittings.

Alloy 400, or Monel:  This is a high nickel alloy that has excellent resistance to corrosion in reducing environments with fluids like hydrochloric, sulfuric and hydrofluoric acids.  It is also a commonly referenced material when looking at NACE specs.

Inconel 625: A very corrosion resistant in oxidizing and reducing media.  It offers high strength and good ductility.  It also has very good performance in sour gas (NACE MR0175)

Hastelloys:  C-276, C-22, B-2 are some of the grades that you can find, with C-276 being one of the more common alloys we deal with locally in this range.  It offers excellent resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion and immunity to stress corrosion cracking.

Duplex stainless steels:  A number of different materials are available here: 2205, 2507 super duplex and even the excitingly named 2707 hyper duplex stainless.  Often seen in offshore applications these materials have higher strength than 316 stainless and may have better resistance to pitting, crevice and general corrosion.

Swagelok makes fittings, valves and other components out of a wide range of different materials and would be happy to work on your applications with you.

Our Special Alloy catalogue provides additional information on some of the special alloys offered by Swagelok.


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Topics: local expert, Valves, Fittings

Grace Under Pressure: Swagelok's IPT Fittings

Posted by Alecia Robinson on Tue, Jan 10, 2017 @ 09:01 AM

Cone-and-thread fittings make a tight, reliable seal


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 The image above highlights the key components of the IPT fitting.The cone and thread fittings are desgined to withstand medium and high pressure environments.

IPT Download


When you have a fluid system running at above-normal pressures, you need something sturdier than the standard Swagelok tube fitting. For great performance under pressure, we have the IPT series. We offer two types of IPT fittings: The medium pressure fittings are designed for up to 20,000 psig or 1378 bar and the high-pressure fittings for up to 60,000 psig or 4134 bar.

These cone-and-thread fittings are designed specifically for the oil and gas, chemical, petrochemical, water jet cutting and blasting, and aerospace industries.

A good angle

The threaded tubing ends with a cone at a 59-degree angle. It fits into the primary seal surface, which has a 60-degree angle. All manufacturers use the same interference angle between the male cone and female body, which allows for interchangeability. This is one of the rare times Swagelok gives a green light to mixing its components with those from other manufacturers.

A collar surrounds this area. A threaded part, called a gland, creates a load on the collar to ensure a seal on the tubing. This is another area where standard procedure departs from the standard Swagelok tube fitting. Instead of prescribing a fixed number of turns for proper tightening, IPT fittings require a specific amount of torque.

Another key element in IPT fittings is a weep hole at the collar. It's a quick way to detect leaks and verify proper installation. Even steam leaks are easy to spot by applying a bit of Snoop leak detector at the weep hole. When removing the collar and gland for maintenance, the weep hole also releases trapped pressure to avoid a "live loaded" thread. But never use the weep hole to bleed the system or vent system pressure. This could cause a pressure-injection injury to your employees.

The medium-pressure and high-pressure components have the same basic design, but the parts are not interchangeable. The high-pressure version has a larger collar and gland, and the collar sits inside the gland when assembled. The high-pressure design also uses thicker wall tubing to compensate for threads.

Both the medium-pressure and high-pressure versions have anti-vibration assemblies available. That's useful when the fittings are placed near a compressor, for example. Again, the assemblies are not interchangeable. An easy way to spot the high-pressure version is its additional slotted collet, which must be pointed in the right direction for assembly. (The medium-pressure slotted collet can be oriented in either direction.)

Tough tubing

The special cold-drawn tubing used with IPT fittings is also different from the standard used in other applications. It's harder and has thicker walls in order to allow cutting away material for threads with a tap-and-die set. In a sense it's really a very small pipe. We'll gladly rent you the tools to do the coning and threading, or we can do it for you if you tell us the dimensions you need.

Another difference from ordinary tubing is the outer diameter, which is slightly smaller than the nominal tube OD.

The harder steel and thicker walls also come into play when bending the tubing. The bend radius must be larger, at least 1.25 inches for quarter-inch tubing. (Keep that in mind when planning out your installation, as you'll need some extra space.) Don't try using a hand tube bender; use the bench-top version as you will also experience greater spring back.

Even extra-tough tubing is softened by heat. That means high temperatures (greater than 93.33º C) will have an impact on the pressure rating of the connection. At 204º C, the pressure rating drops to 93 percent of normal for strain-hardened 316 stainless. At 537º C it drops to 84 percent of normal.

Multiple assemblies

If you've properly installed your IPT fittings, you can take them apart and reassemble them up to five times. But it's important to make sure the cone stays perfectly smooth. If the cone doesn't fit tight against the body, you won't get a proper seal. Tubing can be re-coned if you aren't sure, though be aware that doing so can shorten the length of the tubing.

So don't let the pressure get to you the IPT download has even more information on all the types of IPT fittings and ordering information.

IPT Download

 


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Topics: Tubing, Fittings

Specifically Made for Alberta's Needs: The ZSML Fitting

Posted by Katie Reid on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 @ 14:12 PM

Swagelok 1035 Grade Carbon Steel, MoS2 coating helps the tube fittings withstand the heat of steam-assisted gravity drainage


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Swagelok's ZSML fitting, as pictured above, is specially coated with a 1035 Grade Carbon Steel, MoS2 covering that was developed for the SAGD industry in Northern Alberta. If you would like more information on this product line, get in touch with us today.

GET IN TOUCH


Eighty percent of Alberta's oil sands are too far below the surface for open pit mining. To get the oil out, companies have to use methods such as steam-assisted gravity drainage. And for SAGD to work properly, it needs parts such as Swagelok's ZSML fitting. To understand why ZSML fittings are so important, take a quick look at how SAGD works.

Get moving

SAGD uses a pair of horizontal wells, one about 4 to 6 metres above the other. Steam is injected into the upper well, heating up the surrounding oil. That makes the oil less viscous. Gravity then draws the oil down to the second well, where it can be extracted.

The fittings on the steam generators must withstand high temperatures, and even Swagelok's ordinary carbon steel fitting won't do. That's why Swagelok came up with the ZSML fitting. This unique coating (1035 Grade Carbon Steel, MoS2) allows the fitting to withstand temperatures of up to 427 degrees C! But you won't find it in any Swagelok catalogue as it was designed specifically for Alberta and our extreme conditions. Swagelok even sent its engineers to SAGD sites to see the field conditions before creating the ZSML fitting. 

Inside knowledge

You might wonder how our customers know how to order the ZSML fittings if they aren't in the catalogue. Most of those who are involved in setting up SAGD systems are already familiar with this special fitting. We also can provide a value added service of going into the field to teach maintenance and repair crews about this specific part if needed.

Maybe you have a special need and can't find the kinds of parts you are looking for. Don't assume that the catalogue tells you everything you'd want to know. Give Edmonton Valve & Fitting a call. We might know of a component that will do the job for you. And it's even possible that Swagelok would be willing to design something if it doesn't already exist.  Ask us about the ZSML fitting here.

 

 


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Topics: Value Added Services, Steam, Fittings

Your Checklist for Tubing Quality

Posted by Tristian McCallion on Fri, Dec 09, 2016 @ 11:12 AM

Quality is one of Swagelok's six core values; here we offer up a checklist to make sure you get the best quality out of your tubing and what to look for


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It's important to know what to look for in tubing quality and we have you covered with our checklist below. Still looking for more information on tubing, download our Tubing Data PDF. 

Tubing Data PDF


There are 5 main parts to a tube fitting connection.  Nut, back ferrule, front ferrule, and fitting body are all parts that are manufactured to exacting tolerances and standards at Swagelok.  The fifth component, that Swagelok as a manufacturer has no control over, is the tubing. 

Setting the tubing standards

There are a number of standards that apply to tubing depending on material, but we will focus on the stainless steel specs as this makes up the bulk of what we see being used in northern Alberta.

ASTM sets a number of standards for tubing, so when you get your tubing, it is always a good practice to check the lay line on the tubing for the ASTM standard to which it is manufactured.  It should be printed on the tube, along with the heat number for the tubing.

For stainless steel tubing, ASTM A269 or A213 are common grades.  A269 refers back to ASTM A1016 General Requirements, which gives us the following information:

  • 13.1 – Finished tube shall be reasonably straight and have smooth ends free of burrs.
  • ASTM A269 also gives guidelines for the tolerances of the tubing OD. It is +- 0.005in.  Ovality is allowed to be two times the OD tolerance.

Even with the ASTM specs, there is a lack of standards and there can be variations in the quality of the tubing that you get.  Tubing quality really does depend on the integrity and quality consciousness of the tubing supplier. 

Tubing quality checklist

Before installing any piece of tubing into a Swagelok fitting, the installer should take a moment to take a look at the following items:

  • Is the tubing seamless or welded?  If it is welded are there any signs of corrosion or pitting along the weld bead? Can you see the weld bead on the OD?   If there are, it may create issues.
  • What is the hardness of the tubing?  For best performance with a Swagelok fitting, it is recommended that the tubing not exceed a Rockwell hardness of 90 HRB.
  • Make sure the surface finish is free of scratches.  As the tube fitting seals on the OD of the tubing, scratches can result in potential leak paths.
  • Check for ovality of the tubing.  Oval tubing should not be forced into the tube fitting as it may damage some of the components.
  • Check the OD and ID to make sure they are free of burrs.  A burr on the OD can scratch and damage sealing components.  A burr on the ID can get flushed downstream and damage O-rings or other seals in valves, regulators, or other components.
  • Check the wall thickness to make sure it is sufficient for the pressures that the system will see.
  • Check the tubing for concentricity, that is, check that the wall thickness is consistent all the way around the tubing.  You don’t want a thick wall on the top of the tube and thinner wall on the bottom.

If you have any questions about the quality of the tubing you are using, please contact your local Swagelok supplier.  Edmonton Valve has a number of tools that we can use to help improve the overall quality of your tube fitting connections.

For even more information, the Swagelok Tubing Data Sheet has lots of great information and pressure ratings for most common types of tubing.

 


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Topics: Tubing, Fittings

Calipers, Combs, And Guides Help Make Sense of Threads

Posted by Katie Reid on Thu, May 12, 2016 @ 08:05 AM

Scratching your head about threads? We have three tools that solve the mystery

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  The Pipe and Tube Sizes board (pictured above) is at our back counter. Bring in your fittings and we can help determine the sizing.
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  The thread pitch gauge is another tool we use to help with thread size - it's even available for purchase! To get more info on sizing, download the Thread and End Connection ID Guide PDF.

Can you tell the thread size and thread pitch on a component just by looking at it? Neither can we. That's why we have tools that eliminate the guesswork.

When you look at a thread, you'll see peaks (called crests) and valleys (called roots). The part in between the crest and the root is called the flank. The first thing you want to find out is whether the crests are all the same diameter. That would mean you have straight threads. So we get out our calipers and measure the first, fourth and last crests. If the measurements are the same, you have straight threads. If you get three different measurements, you have tapered threads.

There's another way to tell, provided that you are working with Swagelok parts. Other than standard NPT, Swagelok fittings are uniquely marked to indicate ISO tapered or ISO parrallel threads.

Some people are surprised to learn that straight threads are not designed to seal on their own. They require a gasket, O-ring or some kind of metal-to-metal contact to finish the job.

Tapered threads are designed to seal as the mating threads are drawn together. In addition, some kind of sealant is necessary to prevent leaks. That's usually PTFE tape or a product such as SWAK.

Here comes the "pitch"

Next you need to know how close together the crests are. That's the pitch, usually expressed as the number of threads per inch.

Straight threads come in three standard kinds of measurements. The most common are SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers), ISO 228/1 (also known as British Standard Pipe Parallel), and metric. Tapered threads also have several standard forms of measurement: NPT (National Pipe Thread), ISO 7/1 (also known as British Standard Pipe), and metric.

The flanks can come in different angles, known as Whitworth, unified, or metric.

To discover the pitch, we use a thread comb, also known as a pitch gauge. It looks a bit like a pocketknife, but the blades have saw-tooth edges that fit into the thread roots. We simply try different blades until we find an exact match. Some fractional and metric thread forms are very similar, so we take the time to make sure it's a true fit.

You also can turn to the Swagelok Thread and End Connection Identification Guide, which you can download for free. It has all the terminology, thread ID reference tables, and step-by-step instructions for identifying threads.

Lastly, Edmonton Valve & Fitting has a board with various sizes of threads. If you come in with a part, we can see which sample it fits.

Obviously, the threads on two parts have to have the same size and type of threads if you want to connect them. But you don't have to guess. Check in with Edmonton Valve & Fitting and we'll work with you to get the right answer.

Topics: Valves, Fittings, Measurement Devices

Swagelok Flange Adapters Ease Transition from Pipe to Tubing

Posted by Katie Reid on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 @ 14:02 PM

Simplify the design and save weight compared with threaded branch connections


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Interested in more information on Swagelok's Flange Adapters? Download your copy of the Flange Adapter Catalogue.


When a fluid systems operator wants to get information such as pressure, temperature, and flow from a piping system, one common method is to use Thredolet® or Weldolet® branch connections. That strategy may get the job done, but the results can be complex and cumbersome. It's easy to wind up with a multitude of nipples, valves, and other threaded or welded components.

All that added weight is subject to vibrations from the process pipe, increasing the chance of a pipe break, resulting in potential for a dangerous gas leakage. Then production has to be shut down while someone makes repairs; this can make for a costly day at the office.

A better way

Swagelok's flange adapters and modular flanged valves make the job a lot easier. They provide a threadless, weldless transition from flanged pipe to tubing, reducing both the number of connections and the overall weight. They come in several configurations, including flat face, raised face RTJ and tongue-and-groove. They also have wrench flats to ease the assembly of tube fittings.

We were able to implement this type of solution recently for one of our customers, a large energy company that transports and distributes crude oil, natural gas, and other liquids. They had problems with a system of branch connections on a system under 1,440 psi, taking fluid from a process pipe to a pressure relief valve. The heavy assembly created intense vibration. Now, thanks to Swagelok, the customer has a simple, clean connection that takes up little space and doesn't add much weight to the system.

Does your fluid system need a simpler approach to branching off from your piping system? Let someone from our staff show you how to make it happen.


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Topics: Tubing, Valves, Fittings

Building Up Swagelok's Inventory of Special Alloys

Posted by Katie Reid on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 @ 14:02 PM

We listened when customers wanted new materials, and they listen to our advice


It's a simple principal, but a powerful one: In order for us to serve our customers well, we need to understand the markets we serve. We need to understand our customer, and we need to understand the application.

Gerhard Schiroky, principal scientist for Swagelok Company, explains in a video how that has changed the kind of materials that Swagelok works with over the years. It is part of a video series produced by Swagelok Company featuring Swagelok executives speaking on topics ranging from quality, customer service, predictive maintenance, and more.

 

"If you go back many years, we were receiving many quote requests from customers for materials of construction which we did not have," Schiroky says. We started to track these requests, and we started to understand why customers were asking for these alloys. 

Over the years we have introduced different metals, including the Super Duplex stainless steel, which offers extra corrosion resistance. We've also introduced:

  • Alloy 400, a nickel-copper alloy. It offers exceptional resistance to hydrofluoric acid to stress corrosion cracking and pitting in most fresh and industrial waters.
  • Alloy 600, a nickel-chromium-iron alloy. This strong alloy is highly resistant to chloride-ion induced stress corrosion cracking.
  • Alloy 625, a nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy with a small quantity of niobium. This combination provides very good resistance in a wide variety of severely corrosive environments, including hydrochloric and nitric acids.
  • Alloy 825, a nickel-iron-chromium-molybdenum alloy designed to resist general corrosion, pitting and crevice corrosion, as well as stress corrosion cracking in a wide range of media. Incoloy 825 stands up particularly well to sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, sulfur-containing flue gases, sour gas, oil wells and seawater.
  • Titanium alloys. They have excellent resistance to corrosion in a wide variety of environments including seawater, salt brines, inorganic salts, bleaches, wet chlorine, alkaline solutions, oxidizing acids and organic acids.

If a customer needs an exotic alloy that's new to us, we're always willing to take a look at the request. "We can machine any of our fittings out of almost any material that is machinable," says Jason Wynne, a member of the sales and service team here at Edmonton Valve and Fitting.

But just stocking special alloys was not sufficient. Customers wanted to engage with us.

"They wanted us to recommend which alloy to use for specific applications," Schiroky. Because of their trust in us, "they have acted upon our advice. And I believe they have been very happy with that advice."

Looking for more information on this topic? Download Swagelok's Special Alloys catalogue here for more product facts!


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Topics: Value Added Services, Tubing, Fittings

What Topped Edmonton Valve's Customers' Reading Lists in 2015

Posted by Katie Dennis on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 @ 11:01 AM

These downloads drew the biggest audience in the past year


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One of the most popular features of our website is the ability to download catalogues, manuals and other material. All it takes is a couple of clicks and a little bit of information so we know where to send it all. These are the downloads that proved most popular in 2015 - did you download them all?


Swagelok VCR and VCO fittings

Most people know Swagelok for our two-ferrule Tube Fitting. However, we also carry two valuable lines of face seal fittings: VCR and VCO. Unlike pipe, tube, and weld end connections, the VCR and VCO fittings can be disassembled in line – with no clearance requirements. VCRs and VCOs serve as a make and break point – a spot to access the system for repair and upgrades without having to remove multiple parts.

Tube bending manual

Bending tubing by hand is often the fastest and simplest way to get the job done. The Hand Tube Bender Manual explains step-by-step how to prepare, measure, and calculate, to perfectly execute the bends every time. This 32-page download covers bends, reverse bends, springback and other essentials, and has a section on troubleshooting.

Tube fitting manual

Swagelok hadn't revised its classic Tube Fitter's Manual since the 1990s, so it was a big deal when a fresh edition came out for 2015. The manual has been updated and expanded to include information on selecting tube fittings for severe service requirements, metallurgy, innovations in product design, and advanced manufacturing processes.

Swagelok quick-connects

Swagelok Quick-Connects offer a push-to-connect coupling that enables quick, easy operation. We offer a wide variety of options, including keyed quick-connects. The catalogue includes information on the four different Swagelok Quick-Connect series as well as drawings, sizes, materials, and end connections. It also lists all the part numbers for your convenience. Don't forget - the series of the stem and body has to match for them to connect!

Just ask EVF

You can't get a more personalized service than our Ask Edmonton Valve & Fitting page. Just tell us who you are, what you want to know, and where to send the answers. Whether you are starting to compare your options, need a tailored proposal, or just have a question, we're always here to help.

 


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Topics: Tubing, Valves, Fittings

Swagelok Socket Weld Fittings: It Pays to Learn the Differences

Posted by Katie Dennis on Thu, Nov 26, 2015 @ 10:11 AM

The concept is the same for tubing and pipe, but the parts aren't interchangeable


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To help you remember the difference between the Tube weld vs the Pipe weld, download this PDF that breaksdown the information with images.


 

There are some severe applications in fluid systems where a welded system tube fitting is preferred. Then it's time to break out the welder. A good, solid weld is completely leak proof. It's just the thing if you are running toxic fluids, for example, where even a tiny leak could cause big problems.

If you are welding pipe, you have two options. One is the butt weld, with the end of one section of pipe joined straight up against another section. It's something of an art form, requiring the pipe to be solidly fixed in place before welding, to assure perfect alignment. If you are merely continuing a piping system, you'd probably use a butt weld.

The other option is to use a socket weld fitting. You slip the end of the pipe into the fitting and make the weld there. This is the kind of weld you'd typically make when installing a valve in the line.

Big difference

But here's the key point: Tube socket weld fittings are not the same as pipe socket weld fittings. It's something you might not think about if you rarely have to weld. We sometimes discover that our customers are asking for one type of socket weld fitting when they really need the other.

So the next time you want to place an order, don't be surprised if we start asking questions. We want to make sure you get the right parts for the job. We might even ask you to measure the socket of the valve and measure the fitting to confirm that it will fit.

To help you remember the difference between welding pipe and welding tubing, we've put together a simple one-page illustration. We've highlighted the part numbers for the socket weld fittings, so you can always keep them straight. Download the Pipe Weld vs Tube Weld PDF here.


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Topics: Fittings