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Definition and Details of Socket Weld Fittings

ASME B16.11
Socket Weld fittings general
A Socket Weld is a pipe attachment detail in which a pipe is inserted into a recessed
area of a Valve, fitting or flange. In contrast to buttweld fittings, Socket Weld fittings are
mainly used for small pipe diameters (Small Bore Piping); generally for piping whose
nominal diameter is NPS 2 or smaller.
To join pipe to Valves and fittings or to other sections of pipe, fillet-type seal welds be
used. Socket Welded Joints construction is a good choice wherever the benefits of high
leakage integrity and great structural strength are important design considerations.
Fatigue resistance is lower than that in butt-welded construction due to the use of fillet
welds and abrupt fitting geometry, but it is still better than that of most mechanical
joining methods.

Some details of Socket Weld fittings

SW Fittings are family of high pressure fittings are used in various industrial processes.

 They are used for lines conveying flammable, toxic or expensive material where
no leakage can be permitted, and for steam 300 to 600 PSI.
 They are used only in conjunction with ASME Pipe and are available in the same
size range.
 They are used in areas where pipe-work is permanent and are designed to
provide good flow characteristics.
 They are are produced to several ASTM standards and are manufactured in
accordance with ASME B16.11. The B16.11 standard covers pressure-
temperature ratings, dimensions, tolerances, marking, and material requirements
for forged carbon and alloy steel. Acceptable material forms are forgings, bars,
seamless pipe, and seamless tubes which conform to the fittings chemical
requirements, melting practices, and mechanical property requirements of ASTM
A105, A182, or A350.
 They are available in three pressure ratings: Class 3000, 6000 and 9000.


Class Designation
3000 6000 9000

Elbows 45 and 90 degrees, 1/2 - 4 1/2 - 2 1/2 - 2

Tees, Crosses, Couplings,
1/2 - 4 1/2 - 2 1/2 - 2
End or Pipe Caps 1/2 - 4 1/2 - 2 1/2 - 2

Pipe Size
SCH 80 / XS SCH 160 XXS
by Wall Thickness

Plugs and Bushings are not identified.

They may be used up through Class 6000 NPS

Advantages and disadvantages of Socket Weld fittings


 The pipe need not be beveled for weld preparation.

 Temporary tack welding is no needed for alignment, because in principle the
fitting ensures proper alignment.
 The weld metal can not penetrate into the bore of the pipe.
 They can be used in place of threaded fittings, so the risk of leakage is much
 Radiography is not practical on the fillet weld; therefore correct fitting and welding
is crucial. The fillet weld may be inspected by surface examination, magnetic
particle (MP), or liquid penetrant (PT) examination methods.
 Construction costs are lower than with butt-welded joints due to the lack of
exacting fit-up requirements and elimination of special machining for butt weld
end preparation.

 The welder should ensure for a expansion gap of 1/16 inch (1.6 mm) between de
pipe and the shoulder of the socket.
ASME B31.1 para. 127.3 Preparation for Welding (E) Socket Weld Assembly
In assembly of the joint before welding, the pipe or tube shall be inserted into the
socket to the maximum depth and then withdrawn approximately 1/16" (1.6 mm)
away from contact between the end of the pipe and the shoulder of the socket.
 The expansion gap and internal crevices left in socket welded systems promotes
corrosion and make them less suitable for corrosive or radioactive applications
where solids buildup at the joints may cause operating or maintenance problems.
Generally require butt welds in all pipe sizes with complete weld penetration to
the inside of the piping.
 Socket welding are unacceptable for UltraHigh Hydrostatic Pressure (UHP) in
Food Industry application since they do not permit full penetration and leave
overlaps and crevices that are very difficult to clean, creating virtual leaks.

The purpose for the bottoming clearance in a Socket Weld is usually to reduce the
residual stress at the root of the weld that could occur during solidification of the weld
metal, and to allow for differential expansion of the mating elements.
Fittings for Socket Weld Pipe systems
A Full Coupling, joins pipe two pipe or to a nipple etc..

The Half Coupling can be directly welded to the run pipe, to make a branch connection.

The Reducing Coupling joints two different outside diameters of pipe.
Socket Weld Reducer Inserts are manufactured to MSS SP-79. They enable quick and
economic combinations of pipeline reductions to be made using standard Socket Weld


It is a screwed joint design and it consists of three interconnected pieces: two internally
threads and a centerpiece that draws the ends together when rotated. Unions should be
screwed tight before the ends are welded to minimize warping of the seats.
This Elbows make 90° changes of direction in the run of pipe.

This Elbows make 45° changes of direction in the run of pipe.

This Tee makes 90° branch from the main run of pipe.
Crosses makes 90° branch from the main run of pipe.


Seals the end of pipe.