Thread Essentials

Identifying the correct thread type, adequate usage of sealants and precise preparation are all key aspects the can help prevent fluid system leakage and optimise lifespan.

Understanding the minor differences between thread types are critical to ensuring safe, correct and cost efficient system assembly to maintain your bottom line.

 

Identifying Thread Pitch and Size

To accurately identify thread pitch and size, you'll need a calliper gauge, pitch gauge and thread identification guide.

Threads come in the form of tapered or parallel threads. Tapered threads form a seal as the thread is tightened, whilst parallel threads require an additional seal such as an O-ring to ensure that it's leak tight.

Correct application methods of sealant such as PTFE tape will also prevent media contamination, this includes correctly wrapping thread in the desired direction and preventing the tape from fouling whilst tightening the thread. More detail regarding sealants can be found further below.

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Check Twice
Failure to correctly identify thread type can result in loss of media due to leakage.

Incorrect identification of thread pitch can have critical consequences such as contamination of media throughout an entire fluid system due to fouling of threads from incompatibility.

Understanding the details of various thread types can prevent system downtime and resultant financial loss.


 

Assembly of Cone and Thread Fittings

Preparation of a cone and thread fitting is a relatively complex process but with correct tooling and operation can be made straightforward.

You will need the following equipment to prepare and assemble cone and thread fittings:
Manual adapter, benchtop vise, coning gauge, coning tool, threading tool, deburring tool and chip brush.

Achieving the correct surface finish, consistent wall thickness and precise tapping of threads are all elements that are critical to maintaining optimal fluid system performance and uptime.

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Precise Preparation
Prevention of system contamination is reliant on achieving the appropriate surface finish and the operator's ability to identify when a finish is unacceptable.

Having the confidence to identify issues with cone and thread assembly will equip your team to prevent unnecessary system downtime.


 

Thread Sealants

PTFE Tape
PTFE tape provides reliable sealing for metal pipe threads for applications up to temperatures of 230ºC. This tape should only be used on male tapered pipe threads and should not be used with any other compound or tape; ensure the threads are fully clean prior to application of the PTFE tape and that the tape is applied in the same direction as the thread itself.

SWAK Thread Sealant
Swagelok SWAK is an anaerobic thread sealant that provides reliable sealing on metal pipe threads in applications between -53ºC - 176ºC. Ensure that threads are clean and free of any oils or other compounds prior to applying the SWAK sealant.

Ensure the applied SWAK sealant has 24 hours to fully cure after the fitting has been assembled before pressurising - once assembled, do not loosen the connection as this can cause leakage at the pipe thread.

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Swagelok Technical Insights is for guidance purposes and should not be considered as a substitute for professional training services. Please contact us if you have any training requirements.