What Metals are Used for Pipe Fittings in the Oil and Gas Industry?

It’s believed that the first oil pipeline in the US was built in Pennsylvania around 1862. Since then, both the oil and gas industries have built immeasurably more pipes. The pipes and pipe fittings are constructed from various materials. The material used for each pipe fitting depends on the application. Below we explore more about the different types of metals used for pipe fittings.

Stainless Steel Pipe Fittings

Stainless steel is a popular material for pipe fittings because it’s not easily vulnerable to corrosion and oxidation. Stainless steel is actually an alloy that contains mostly iron and a minimum of 10.5% chromium. The addition of other materials like nickel and molybdenum strengthens the stainless steel, making it highly resistant to corrosion in a wide range of environments. Stainless steel pipe fittings are typically used in household pipelines and petrochemical industries.

Carbon Steel Pipe Fittings

A major portion of the pipe fittings used in the oil and gas industries are made from carbon steel. Carbon steel fittings are favored because of their strength and durability. However, compared to stainless steel, carbon steel is not as resistant to corrosion. Carbon steel is so-called because of the addition of carbon, which helps to strengthen and harden the steel. Only a small amount of carbon steel is added (about 2%) together with small amounts of manganese, sulfur, silicon, and phosphorus. The different proportions of these different types of metals are what determine the grade of carbon steel produced.

Forged Steel Pipe Fittings

Like stainless steel and carbon steel, forged steel is another alloy steel that was hardened, shaped, and strengthened through the process of forging. This makes forged steel a durable and popular option for pipe fittings.

Titanium Pipe Fittings

Titanium has several qualities that make it a great option for pipe fittings. For instance, titanium is quite lightweight but also strong, durable, and very resistant to corrosion.

Chromium Pipe Fittings

As mentioned, chromium is one of the metals added to stainless steel to make it more resistant to corrosion. That’s why it’s a common material used to make pipe fittings in the oil and gas industry.

Nickel Pipe Fittings

Like chromium, nickel is another metal that helps to improve corrosion resistance in metal pipe fittings. Again, this makes it popular for use in the oil and gas industry.

These are the most common types of metals used to manufacture pipe fittings for the oil and gas industry. In a nutshell, most of the pipe fittings used are made from stainless steel, carbon steel, forged steel, titanium, chromium, and nickel. Give us a call at Lynco Flange & Fitting today and we will steer you in the right direction for your next project!

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