What is a Pipe Nipple

Pipe Nipple

A nipple is a fitting, consisting of a short piece of pipe, usually provided with a male pipe thread at each end, for connecting two other fittings. 
The length of the nipple is usually specified by the overall length with threads. It may have a hex section in the center for wrench to grasp. A “close nipple” has no unthreaded area; when screwed tightly between two female fittings, very little of the nipple remains exposed. A close nipple can only be unscrewed by gripping one threaded end with a pipe wrench which will damage the threads[citation needed] and necessitate replacing the nipple, or by using a specialty tool known as a nipple wrench (or known as an internal pipe wrench) which grips the inside of the pipe, leaving the threads undamaged. When the ends are of two different sizes it is called a reducer or unequal nipple. A barrel nipple or a pipe nipple is one which is usually made from pipe and is threaded only at both ends.

Materials used:
Various materials are used to make pipe nipples such as:

  • Brass
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel
  • Iron
  • Copper
  • PVC
  • Carbon steel
  • Cast Iron etc.

Pipe nipple fabrication:

  • Threaded nipples
  • Grooved nipples
  • Bended nipples
  • Barbed nipples
  • Seamless nipples

Buying tips

What should buyers look for in the bulk purchase of pipe nipples?

  • Tube selection

    • Material, thickness
    • Diameter
  • General technical specifications

    • Pressures
    • Safety coefficients
    • Temperatures
    • Conformity to the standards, Certifications
    • Standard, Double duty, Extra duty, Extra double duty
  • End Connections

    • Threads
    • Beveled Ends
    • Square Cut Ends
    • Grooved
    • Bended
    • Barbed
    • Seamless

Finishes on pipe nipples:

  • Black coating
  • Electro galvanized
  • Hot-dipped galvanized finishes
  • Copper plating etc.

Types of pipe nipples:

  • Barrel nipple: This is a type of a short tubular with a taper thread outside at each end and which is un-threaded in the middle.
  • Weld nipple: Weld nipple is used as another method of connecting tube fittings. These kind of nipples are suitable for use under extreme conditions of vibration, pressure surges and changes of temperature.
  • Swage nipple: The basic purpose of a swage nipple is to bringing the flow of fluids from one pipe size to another. These are available with plain, beveled or threaded ends.
  • Hexagon nipple: Hexagon nipples are available in a variety of threads, materials and lengths.

Applications of pipe nipples:
Pipe nipples are used as pipe fittings in a wide variety of industrial applications like:

  • Chemical processing industries
  • Petrochemical
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Food & beverage
  • Pulp & paper
  • Shipbuilding / marine
  • Waste incineration
  • Machine building
  • Architectural
  • Semiconductor etc.

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