Stainless steel tube fittings are crucial to the successful operation of applications requiring leak-tight performance. Each tube fitting design is different. One thing, however, is evident; the better the tubing matches the tube fittings; the easier the installation and the higher the performance level achieved.
The stainless steel tubing should meet the following requirements-
Tubing Roundness is Important
ASTM A268 section 12.2 permits few thin-walled stainless tubing to be produced with ovality of the tube double the OD (outside diameter) of ±.005”. This level of out of roundness would preclude the tubing from even inserting into the tube fitting the right way. When the tubing can be sectioned into the tube fitting within the tubing ovality tolerance, the secure fit achieved makes for improved tube fitting installation and execution.
Surface Finish Ensures Proper Working
ASTM specifications are divided on this subject. Deep scratches, nicks and gouges tend to interfere with proper sealing. Instrumentation tubing should be free of the aforementioned surface imperfections. To ensure proper condition of the tubing, a check of the supplier packaging and the preservation standards should be undertaken.
Tubing Hardness Reduces the Installation Costs
The tubing for instrumentation tube fittings should be softer than the fitting. The hardness of the tubing is measured on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. The Rockwell scale determines hardness based on the indentation depth of a material placed under load. The softer the tubing is as compared to the tubing fitting, the easier it is to bend which simplifies its installation.
Consider the Method of Manufacture too
The foremost choice of tubing for the majority of applications is Dual Grade stainless steel tubing. Dual Grade 316 provides improved corrosion resistant capabilities as compared to Grades 302 and 304. Grade 316 also provides strong resistance to pitting. It also a good choice for forming or welding applications.
Dual Grade 316L is lower in terms of its carbon composition than Grade 316. It is also resistant to sensitization making it suitable for heavy gauge welded components. Grade 316H contains more carbon meaning that it can be used for applications involving high temperatures.
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