ThePipingMart Blog other What are the uses and types of pipe nipples?

What are the uses and types of pipe nipples?

In the piping and plumbing sectors, the most widely used types of pipe fittings are pipe nipples, which consist of a short straight length of pipe with a male pipe thread on both ends for joining two different female threaded fittings or pipes. Pipe nipples are widely used as adapters between different types of connections. Pipe nipples are most frequently encountered in low-pressure pipe networks. They are intended to hold straight-end hose or pipe. The working pressure of pipe nipples varies according to the pipe’s size and design, as well as the temperature and fluid being transferred. Pipe nipples are offered in the widest range of wall thicknesses and materials in the industry. Pipe nipples are made by cutting a length of pipe and connecting the specific end connections. ASME B16.11. Standard determines the dimentions and materials of Pipe nipple. Pipe nipples can be seamless, threaded, grooved, barbed, bent, or welded.

Pipe nipple uses

Pipe nipples are the type of pipe fittings that are used in a diverse range of industrial operations, including:

  • Waste incineration industry
  • Oil & Gas industry
  • Chemical processing industry
  • Petrochemical industry
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Food & beverage industry
  • Paper & Pulp industry
  • Shipbuilding industry
  • Machine building industry
  • Architecture industry
  • Semiconductor industry

Several types of Pipe nipples

Several kinds of pipe nipples are often used. A few examples are:

  • Swage nipple

A swage nipple’s primary function is to transfer liquids from one pipe to another. Swage nipples might have plain, beveled, or threaded ends.

  • Running Nipple

A pipe nipple is a small length of pipe with male pipe threads on both ends for joining to other fittings. Depending on how far apart the attached fittings need to be, there is usually a small distance of unthreaded pipe between the two threaded ends. If there is no unthreaded pipe in between the two joining ends, the pipe nipple is called a “close nipple” or a “running nipple.” In that situation, the attached fittings are almost touching, and very little of the nipple is visible. Working with close nipples is tricky. A close nipple can only be disassembled by grabbing one threaded end with a pipe wrench, which will damage the threads and need the replacement of the nipple, or by using a specialized tool known as a nipple wrench, which grips the inside of the pipe and leaves the threads undamaged.

  • Hexagonal Nipple

Pipe nipples with a narrow gap between the threaded ends may feature a hexagon part in the core to allow a wrench to grip the nipple. These nipples are referred to as “hexagonal nipples.” This hexagonal portion in the middle acts like a nut that can be grabbed with a regular wrench, providing a higher mechanical advantage than a circular pipe nipple. A “long hex nipple” is a hexagonal nipple with additional space between the threaded ends.

  • Reducing Nipple

“Reducing nipple” or “unequal nipple” is used for ping systems that require a modification in pipe dimension. A reducing nipple connects a female fitting with a wider connection to a smaller one. When utilizing these parts, use caution because a lower pipe diameter can imply more pressure and a higher flow rate in the smaller pipe fitting.

  • Hose Nipple

The term “hose nipple” refers to a pipe connection to tubing used in piping systems. A hose nipple has one end with a male threaded connection and the other end with a hose barb. The hose barb can be the same size as the pipe connection or it can be smaller in size.

  • Welding Nipple

Welded pipe fittings that must be connected to welded pipe systems are referred to as “welding nipples.” The weld nipple has a threaded connection on one end and a standard cut pipe on the other. The pipe’s unthreaded end has an increased surface area for the application of welding materials to establish a stronger connection. One significant advantage of welding nipples is that after the unthreaded end is connected, attaching pipes or other fittings to the threaded end is significantly easier.

Pipe Nipple End Connections

Plain Both Ends (PBE), Threaded Both Ends (TBE), Beveled Both Ends (BBE), Threaded One End (TOE), Beveled One End (BOE), Plain One End (POE), or a variation of the above, depending on the piping system ends into which the pipe nipple will be installed.

  • Plain Both Ends (PBE) pipe nipple – It has both plain ends, with no thread, and is commonly used to make a socket weld connection.
  • Threaded Both Ends (TBE) pipe nipple – It has threaded ends on both ends and is used to join female threaded connections.
  • Beveled Both Ends (BBE) pipe nipple – It includes bevel ends on both ends and is used for welding, similar to a buttweld fitting.


Finishes on piping nipples

Piping Nipples are available in the following finishes:

  • Black coating finish
  • Electro-galvanized finish
  • Hot-dipped galvanized finish
  • Copper plating finish

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