Everyone, from the average homeowner to an industrial plumber to a hardware store owner, could probably benefit from knowing a little bit more about piping and how lengths of pipe are put together. Essentially, all pipe connectors are a subset of valves and fittings that allow multiple types and sizing of pipes to work together for the maximum efficiency and safety of the system in question. And when it comes to high-pressure systems, one of the most important types of fitting to know about is the humble flare fitting.
- What Are Flare Fittings, Exactly?
Flare fittings are one of the choices for a mechanical, as opposed to soldered, joint. Flare fittings are a subset of compression fittings, meaning they have both inner and outer components; a flare nut is used to secure the tapered end of tubing or piping to a fitting.
- What Materials Are They Made Of?
While you may be able to find flare fittings made with a number of materials, brass flare fittings are a popular choice because it’s a strong and yet still workable metal. The piping brass compression fittings are most often used with is made of copper or soft steel. Brass pipe fittings in general are extremely popular and widely available.
- Why Are They Used, Most Often?
Flare fittings are used because they can offer excellent durability even in inaccessible locations. Flare fittings create a strong joint because it takes the pressure that would generally be put on the small point where two pipes join and spreads it out across a larger surface area, making failure less likely. In fact, if you’re using properly manufactured and installed brass flare fittings, the piping itself is more likely to fail than the mechanical joint.
- Where Can/Should I Buy Them?
There are several brass fittings manufacturers you might consider. Some things to look out for: a manufacturer with no minimum order requirements, one that can also make custom parts should stock parts not work on your project, and one that keeps parts in stock and ships them immediately so you won’t need to wait.
Do you have any more questions, or something to add? Join the discussion in the comments.