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Tees and Crosses Straight and Reducing-Butt Weld Pipe Fittings

carbon steel equal tee

carbon steel equal tee

Tees straight and reducing

The primary purpose of a Tee is to make a 90° branch from the main run of pipe.Standard there are 2 possibilities, on behalf of the equal tee and reducing pipe fitting tee/unequal tee.The equal tee is used as the branch has the same diameter as the run-pipe.The reducing tee is used as the branch has a smaller diameter as the run-pipe.


Dimensions and Standards

When we talk about a tee NPS 3, a equal or straight tee is intended.With a tee NPS 3 x 2 a reducing tee is intended. Although,officially a reducing tee will be indicated by 3 diameters,namely 3 x 3 x 2 (A x B x C).The A & B measure stands for the Nominal Pipe Size of Run-Pipe,C measure stands for Nominal Pipe Size of Outlet.

This designation actually is superfluous,but comes from the time that tees were available in 3 different ends of diameters,such as 4 x 3 x 2 (A x B x C).In this implementation of course it is necessary,to specify 3 different sizes. That kind of tees is probably no longer available.


Applying a equal tee with a concentric or eccentric reducer is now the usual practice.A straight or equal buttwelding Tee is available for all common diameters.A Reducing Tee not,because many diameters are not produced,or can not be produced.


As an example: a reducing tee NPS 6 x 4 is a standard item for most suppliers,but a reducing tee NPS 16 x 2 is probably not available by any supplier.It would also not economical to use a NPS 16 tee with a NPS 2 outlet;in such situations a Branch Fitting will be used or a Branch Connection will be made.In addition to the defined tees,there are straight and reducing crosses.


Straight crosses are generally stock items, reducing crosses are often difficult to obtain. I have never used that tees and I have they never seen in practice, at least not in petro and chemical industry. They will be used where space is limited, by revision work, in shipping industry et cetera.


Wall thickness Tee

By the shape of a tee,the wall thickness can be a critical item.ASME B16.9 only standardizes the end-to-end dimensions,center-to-end dimensions and some “squareness” dimensional tolerances.The wall thickness at the weld line location even is standardized,but not through the rest of the fitting.The standard states that the minimum tolerance will be within 12.5% of the minimum ordered wall thickness of the pipe.A maximum tolerance is specified only at the ends of the fitting.

Many providers of welding tees (and elbows) provide one schedule greater thickness so that sufficient wall thickness, after forming, remains.In Tee’s,the crotch radius (T) varies from one manufacturer to another,but some establish itself as a requirement, 1.3 times the wall thickness to maintain the crotch.ASME B16.9-2003 Section 2.2 Design of fittings says: it is expected that some portion of formed fittings may have to be thicker than the pipe wall with which the fitting is intended to be used Because there is no maximum tolerance for some parts of the fitting,the customer itself must indicate his requirements.

Depending on a customer specification, the manufacturer must certify that the manufactured tee,is made the requested requirements.He can do that with additional drawings,with additional wall thickness measurements etc. verified by an independent party or a customers inspector.All these additional tests cost money,so it can happen,that the additional costs,many times higher,as the tee itself.


Tees: Extrusion method (Hot Forming)

The hot-extrusion process consists of enclosing a piece of metal,heated to forging temperature, in a chamber called a “container” having a die at one end with an opening of the shape of the desired finished section,and applying pressure to the metal through the opposite end of the container.

The metal is forced through the opening,the shape of which it assumes in cross-section,as the metal flows plastically under the great pressures used.Tees using raw material with a bigger diameter than the finished product,the branch outlet is extruded from pipe while the main body is being pressed.

The outlet’s wall thickness can also be adjusted as needed.Applied to Tees with large diameters,heavy wall thickness and/or special material with challenging workability that cannot be manufactured using the hydraulic bulge method.


ASME B16.9 Butt Weld Equal Tee Dimensions
NPS D C M 16″ 406.4 305 305
1/2″ 21.3 25 25 18″ 457 343 343
3/4″ 26.7 29 29 20″ 508 381 381
1″ 33.4 38 38 22″ 559 419 419
1 1/4″ 42.2 48 48 24″ 610 432 432
1 1/2″ 48.3 57 57 26″ 660 495 495
2″ 60.3 64 64 28″ 711 521 521
2 1/2″ 73 76 76 30″ 762 559 559
3″ 88.9 86 86 32″ 813 597 597
3 1/2″ 101.6 95 95 34″ 864 635 635
4″ 114.3 105 105 36″ 914 673 673
5″ 141.3 124 124 38″ 965 711 711
6″ 168.3 143 143 40″ 1016 749 749
8″ 219.1 178 178 42″ 1067 762 711
10″ 273 216 216 44″ 1118 813 762
12″ 323.8 254 254 46″ 1168 851 800
14″ 355.6 279 279 48″ 1219 889 838


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