What is Pipe Coupling? Types and Definition

What is Pipe Coupling?

A Pipe Coupling or Coupler is essential for connecting pipe sections while preserving the integrity of the pipes in the process. It is an extremely good pipe fitting in the piping and plumbing industries. Most pipe installations necessitate the joining or cutting of several pipe lengths to allow for direction changes and the crossing of obstacles. Pipe couplings are extremely short lengths of pipe or tube. It has a socket or female pipe thread at one or both ends. Pipe coupling connects two pipes or tubes of equal or different sizes to form a long pipe run.

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The Following are the Various Functions that a Pipe Coupling or Coupler Can Perform

  • It is useful for extending or terminating pipe runs.
  • It can be used to change the size of a pipe.
  • It is useful for repairing a broken or leaking pipe.

The body of a pipe coupling (Coupler) is typically made of the same or similar materials as the pipes it joins. They can be rigid or flexible depending on how much movement the pipe experiences, and they can also be permanent or removable.

A pipe coupling can be increased or reduced in internal diameter to join different-sized pipes (like T or cross-shaped) to join more than two pipes or angled to form bends. Pipe couplings sometimes include peripheral features like inspection openings, flow meters, or valves.

Types of Pipe Couplings

Couplings are classified into three types

Full Coupling

Full couplings are used to join small bore pipes. It was used to connect pipes or swages or nipples. It can have threaded or socket ends.

A socket weld full coupling joins small-bore plain end pipes where the pipe spec requires socket weld. A full threaded coupling connects small bore pipes with threaded ends. It is referred to as an adapter when the two coupling ends are different (for example, one BSP threaded and one NPT threaded).

Half Coupling

Half couplings are used to branch small bore pipes from larger bore pipes. It can be threaded or of the socket variety. It only has a socket or thread end on one side.

A socket weld half coupling can be directly welded to a large bore pipe to make a branch connection. It branches off a small bore pipe from a large bore pipe where the pipe spec requires a socket weld in a small bore size. A threaded half coupling has only one thread end; the other should be a butt welding end with either a plain or a bevel end.

Reducing Coupling

To connect pipes of different diameters, reducing coupling is used. A reducing coupling has threads of two different sizes on each side. Reducing couplings are commonly used when connecting small process feeder lines to large supply circuits or installing small-diameter fittings.

Reducing couplers have a simple, stepped-down profile and screw onto two pipe lengths like a standard pipe joint. Welded-reducing coupler designs are similar to threaded designs except that they do not have threads.

Compression Coupling

A compression coupling connects two perfectly aligned pipes by placing a slotted tapered sleeve over the junction and drawing two flanges over the sleeve to automatically centre the pipes and provide adequate contact pressure.

Repair Coupling / Slip Coupling

A slip coupling (a repair coupling) comprises two pipes, one sliding out of the other to various lengths. Slip couplings are intentionally designed without an internal stop, allowing them to be slipped into place in tight spaces, such as when repairing a pipe that has a small leak due to corrosion or freeze bursting or that had to be temporarily cut for some reason. Because the alignment stop is missing, the installer must carefully measure the final location of the slip coupling to ensure that it is properly installed.

Pipe Coupling Materials

Pipe couplings are made from various materials, and buyers should always consider the material used in their construction. Couplings are made from a variety of materials, including:

  • Brass
  • Carbon Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Iron Casting
  • Stainless Steel
  • Copper
  • Bronze


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