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How compression nuts work and their common applications

2023-11-08

A compression nut, also known as a compression fitting nut, is a component used in plumbing and various fluid transfer systems to create a leak-tight connection between two pipes or tubing by compressing a ferrule (a small, tapered ring) around the pipes or tubing. This type of connection is widely used for connecting water supply lines, gas lines, and other fluid-carrying systems. Here's how compression nuts work and their common applications:

How Compression Nuts Work:

1. Compression Fitting: Compression nuts are typically used in conjunction with a compression fitting. A compression fitting consists of three main components: the compression nut, the ferrule (also called an olive or sleeve), and the body.

2. Ferrule: The ferrule is a small, usually cylindrical piece of soft metal or plastic, often made of brass, copper, or plastic. It is placed over the pipe or tubing that needs to be connected.

3. Assembly: To create a leak-tight seal, the nut is threaded onto the fitting body, and the ferrule is positioned between the nut and the body. The pipe or tubing to be connected is inserted into the fitting body.

4. Compression: As the nut is tightened onto the fitting body, it compresses the ferrule against the pipe or tubing. This compression causes the ferrule to deform around the pipe or tubing, creating a secure and leak-resistant connection.

Applications:

1. Water Supply Lines: Compression nuts and fittings are commonly used to connect water supply lines in domestic plumbing systems. They are often used for faucets, toilets, and other fixtures where a watertight seal is essential.

2. Gas Lines: Compression fittings are used in natural gas and propane systems to create a secure and reliable connection between pipes and appliances such as stoves, water heaters, and gas furnaces.

3. Refrigeration Lines: Compression fittings are used in refrigeration systems to connect copper or aluminum tubing for refrigerant lines in air conditioning units, refrigerators, and freezers.

4. Industrial Applications: Compression fittings can also be found in various industrial applications, including hydraulic systems and compressed air lines, to connect pipes or tubing securely.

5. Instrumentation: They are used in laboratories and analytical equipment where precise connections are required for fluid-carrying tubes.

6. Vehicle Brake Lines: Compression fittings can be found in brake line systems for automobiles and other vehicles.

Compression fittings and their associated nuts are popular in these applications due to their simplicity, reliability, and ease of installation without soldering or welding. Properly installed compression fittings can provide a tight, secure, and durable connection for various fluid-carrying systems.

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