A buttweld tee branches a pipeline by 90 degrees. Steel tees are manufactured from seamless and welded pipes, or from plates, and may have the same or different bore sizes between the run and the branch pipe (equal and reducing tees). Butt weld crosses feature a twin outlet to execute a double 90-degree branch of the run pipe. The ASME specifications covering dimensions and tolerances of BW tees and crosses are the ASME B16.9 (carbon/alloy steel tee), the MSS SP 43 (stainless steel tee), and the ASME B16.25 (butt weld ends specifications).
Pipe tees are manufactured in multiple dimensions according to the ASME B36.10 and ASME B36.19 specifications, and several material grades (ASTM A234 WPB/WPC for carbon/alloy steel tees and ASME A403 for stainless steel tees).
STEEL TEE TYPES
There are three main types of pipe tee, equal, reducing, and barred:
EQUAL TEE (STRAIGHT TEE)
An equal tee, otherwise called straight tee, is a butt weld fitting used to branch a pipeline, or any other pipework, at 90 degrees.
A pipe tee is defined “equal” when the bore size at the run and branch sides have the same diameter. An equal tee is therefore used to connect two pipes of the same nominal diameter. To order an equal tee, it is sufficient to provide the nominal diameter, the schedule and the material grade of the pipe tee fitting (sizes should match, of course, the dimension of the connecting pipes).
Equal tees are available in sizes from half an inch to 48 inches (or larger) and in seamless and welded execution (seamless up to 24 inches, welded for tee sizes above 24 inches).
Butt weld tees are manufactured according to ASME B16.9 (carbon and alloy) and MSS SP 43 (stainless steel and nickel alloy). For more information about the materials for steel tees, refer to this article.
A reducing tee features a smaller bore size at the branched pipe side (generally 2/3 sizes smaller). In case a larger bore size reduction is necessary, then a reinforced branch connection (such as a Weldolet) should be preferred to prevent turbulence and have a smoother flow reduction.
The standard dimensions and tolerances of equal and reducing pipe tees are defined by the ASME B16.19 specification (carbon and alloy steel) and by the MSS SP 43 spec (for stainless steel and nickel alloys tees).
A barred tee is a special type of equal tee used for pigged pipelines (reducing barred tees do not exist, as the pig would not pass through the reduced area anyway). A barred tee features a welded restriction on the branch pipe side that prevents the pig from flowing from the run pipe into the branched pipe.
Such barred restriction is welded on the internal side of the fitting and looks like a steel cage.
PIPE TEE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
The manufacturing process of a pipe tee is represented in the image below:
HOW TO ORDER PIPE TEES
To order a tee, the following parameters have to be provided to the manufacturer:
- Type of tee (equal tee/reducing tee)
- Run and branched pipe nominal size (d1 x d2 x d3, where d1 x d2 = inlets of the run pipe, d3 = tee outlet to the branched pipe)
- Schedule (wall thickness)
- Material grade (ASTM A234, A403, etc)
- Number of units
BUTT WELD CROSS FITTING
A Butt weld cross fitting is used when a double branch at 90 degrees is required, a quite rare design choice. ASME B16.9 and MSS SP43 define the pipe cross dimensions and tolerance. There are no specific limitations in terms of available sizes and schedules for butt weld crosses.
PIPE TEE PRICES
Looking for the price of pipe tees? Click on the image and check our online steel tee price estimation tool!
The tool estimates the price for pipe tees manufactured in Europe and Asia.
Even if our price estimates are reliable, prices shall always be double checked with butt weld fittings manufacturers and distributors.
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