Skip to content

Understanding Pipe Fittings in Manufacturing

What should you know about pipe fittings in manufacturing? There are extensive methods to understand and consider when it comes to your manufacturing needs. Read more below.

Understanding Pipe Fittings in Manufacturing - KB Delta


Understanding pipe fittings in manufacturing processes is an important area in piping engineering that needs utmost attention. While the term ‘pipe fittings’ is related to the ones commonly used for plastic and metal that carry fluids, there is more to that.

The term “pipe fittings” is the basic components used in joining pipe sections together with some special fluid control products such as the pumps and valves to create pipelines.

Pipe fittings of all types, sizes, and materials are very important in various areas of industrial applications.

Most importantly, pipe fittings could be threaded, welded, chemically adhered, mechanically joined as well as a host of other common joining mechanisms, with recourse always given to the nature of the piping material.

There are several other kinds of pipe fittings that are being used specifically to join pipes for handrails and other architectural elements where the provision of leak-proof connection isn’t a requirement.

However, this article will be exposing you to the typical pipe fittings in manufacturing processes and connection methods that are associated with the rigid pipe, piping, and limited fittings presentation that are closely or not related to flexible hoses, tubes, or tubing.


Understanding Pipe Fittings in Manufacturing Processes

By and large, it’s important you note that fittings are manufactured from the welded and seamless pipe with filler material. And the ones with a large diameter are usually made from plate.

Without further delay, the major pipe fittings manufacturing methods are as follows:


  • Elbow Manufacturing Process;
  • Tee Manufacturing Process;
  • Reducer Manufacturing Process;
  • Cap Manufacturing Process; and
  • Lap joint or stub end Manufacturing process.


These manufacturing processes will be simply considered in detail below.


1. ELBOWS Manufacturing Process

Under this heading, pipe fittings could be manufactured using any of the following methods:

  • Mandrel Method

Mandrel method is one of the most common pipe fittings manufacturing procedures for Elbows creation and it belongs to the hot forming family.

This “mandrel” is responsible for bending and expanding the pipe simultaneously. This pipe fittings method can also be used to produce elbows with a larger range of diameter.

Here, the pipe will be cut into pieces and then push using the hydraulic ram to make it a lot easier. Then induction heating coil will be used to heat the pipe, after which it will be pushed over a die named “mandrel.”

  • UO (Welding) Method

The UO method can be used on three out of the five classes of pipe fitting manufacturing processes. That is to say, it can be used for manufacturing elbows, tee, and reducers (medium sizes).

Here, the plate will be cut out into a specifically designed shape. Using a die, it will first form a U-shape. And subsequently, it will be made into a tubular form or an O-shape using another die.

Such is why this fitting method is called a “UO” method.

Note that the difference between form and shape should be clear in mind, so as to understand this concept better; a form vs shape explained guide could be helpful in this regard.

That being said, immediately after the pipe fittings produced a tumbler shape, it is then welded; firstly, from the inside followed by the closing seam outside.

  • Extrusion Method

The extrusion method for elbows pipe fittings manufacturing, unlike the mandrel, belongs to the cold forming family.

Here, a pipe having the same diameter as a finished product will be pushed through a die to form its desired shape. Thus, this method of the pipe creation process is often used on stainless steel with small or medium sizes elbows.

  • Hot Forming (Die Bending) Method

Using the hot forming (die bending) method, a pipe will be heated to the highest degree (forming temperature), with a specific shape to be formed in the die.

This process will be repeated until the required shape, size, or needed wall thickness is obtained. This die bending method is often adopted on thick-wall items that are too hard to be bent on the mandrel die.


Understanding Pipe Fittings in Manufacturing - KB Delta


2. TEE Manufacturing Process

Similarly, the Tee pipe fittings manufacturing can be best understood using the following methods:

  • Hydraulic Bulge Method

Note that the hydraulic bulge method is a cold-forming process used in manufacturing Tee pipes and the method is widely known for giving an ideal surface finish.

To use this method, a cut piece of pipe that is filled with liquid content will be placed in a hydraulic die. There is a fixed opening in the hydraulic die and its pressure will push out the branch.

However, as perfect as this Tee method is for giving an ideal surface finish, be enlightening that Tee pipe with higher thickness cannot be manufactured using this process.

  • Monaka Method

This pipe fittings process is akin to the Elbow manufacturing method as the perfect raw material here is also steel plate.

In this process, raw material steel plate will be cut into two pieces symmetrically after which they will be press formed and welded together.

  • Hot Extrusion Method

Tee pipe fittings with special material, heavy wall thickness, and larger diameter with challenging workability that cannot be manufactured through the hydraulic bulge method can be manufactured here.

With the hot extrusion manufacturing process, normally pipe fittings with bigger diameter are usually used it of the finished product size, and the branch outlet will be extruded from the pipe using the available extrusion tool.

Though not every time when required, other body and branch dimensions can be adjusted, too, by simply pressing the die.


3. Reducer Manufacturing Process

The reducer manufacturing process can be done using the following methods:

Out die method and Plate forming method.


  • Outer Die Method: This method is very useful in manufacturing small and medium size of the reducer process. Here, the pipe is cut into a desired shape after which it will be pressed on the outer die.
  • Plate Forming Method: Also, plate may be used in the reducer and UO manufacturing process. Using the UO method, the plate will be designed into the U-shape. Then, an O-shape after which everything will be finished off with a weld seam.


4. Caps Manufacturing Process

Also, using the CAPS method is another way to understanding pipe fittings in manufacturing, and the major process here is known as the deep drawing method. Here, plate will be cut out to form a circle using the deep-drawing die.


5. Stub end (lap joint) Manufacturing Process

The lap joints or stub ends pipe fittings are manufactured using the ‘flaring method’. Here, the end of the pipe will be spared out so as to form a flange face.



Pipe fittings in manufacturing are far beyond joining pipe sections together using valves and pumps. There are numerous other methods and processes; such is what this article explained.


Understanding Pipe Fittings in Manufacturing - KB Delta

Skip to content