Many of my clients would tell me that they need good quality pipe fittings but not inferior goods each time when they send me the enquiries. But what are good pipe fittings? How to decide whether they are good or not? I think what the clients referred as good pipe fittings are those which are qualified and safe in use. The main factors which define pipe fittings as good ones or inferior ones are as follows:
1, Raw materials (parent materials). The qualified pipe fittings can only been produced from the qualified raw materials. Namely the raw materials of steel pipes, steel plates, billets should be tested to meet the requirements of related standards. There exist some factories who will buy the pipes with defects, used pipes or replace high grade raw materials with lower grade raw materials, etc. The use of unqualified raw materials will result in unqualified final products.
2,Moulds. The pipe fittings’ molding process is a process of mold pressing, squeezing, forging. The moulds should be examined and inspected at regular intervals so as to avoid the surface scratch of the pipe fittings .
3, Heat treatments. The main function of heat treatment is to eliminate stress, reduce hardness, refine grain and improve the structure performance. Especially for those cold formed pipe fittings, heat treatment is a must.
4, Nondestructive examination (NDE). There are corresponding regulations for NDE of pipe fittings in national standards and international standards. For example, cold extruded tees must do 100% magnetic particle testing, the welding seam must do100% radiographic testing. But some manufacturers would not do NDE partly because they don’t have such test equipments or they are too confident about their products. Without such examinations, the interior defects can’t be found and might cause safety problems in usage.
5, End processing. Most of the pipe fittings will be connected with other parts by welding in the project site. So the accuracy of the roundness, the wall thickness and the beveling of the ends would affect the welding effects in the site.
Edit by Ms Saadiya Jiang of KRM/BSW
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