News & Announcements

  • Pipe Fitting Standards Clarified: Class 150 vs 150 Pound Fittings6/15/2022
    Understanding critical differences in pipe standards and descriptions to ensure optimal performance and safety.

    As with most piping products, the little details matter when picking the ideal pipe fittings for your piping process. 
    One commonly seen issue is the difference between Class 150 (CL150) fittings and 150 Pound (150# or 150LB) fittings.

    While these products will share similarities, failing to choose the right product can result in safety risks and premature product failure or cause systems to fail to meet regulatory and engineering requirements.

    Not sure what the differences are? Keep reading as we look at both labels and what they mean.

    Stainless Steel Pipe Fitting Categories Explained

    Stainless steel threaded pipe fittings come in various sizes and designs suited for a particular use case, environment, and budget.

    Organizations have worked hard to develop standards for pipe fittings to ensure comparable designs and specifications between manufacturers and help create a consistent, predictable, and safe experience when implementing these popular products in a range of applications.

    Before we dive into the specific standards relevant to categorizing stainless steel threaded pipe fittings, let’s take a moment to look at where these standards come from.

    These standards are based mainly on the work of three organizations:

    • ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials International
    • ANSI - American National Standards Institute 
    • ISO - International Organization for Standardization

    These professional bodies are widely trusted across the globe for standards related to stainless steel pipe products, pipe system engineering, and a range of other topics.
    Taking the standards of these three groups, the Manufacturers Standardization Society (MSS) took things further by filling out gaps in standards and further clarifying definitions and requirements.

    The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards are also derived and compiled from the standards released by all four organizations.

    The most relevant stainless steel pipe fittings standards are ANSI B1.20.1 and ASTM A351.

    ANSI B1.20.1 provides the considerations when categorizing pipe fittings by dimension, while ASTM A351 defines the materials and castings used within pipe fittings.

    These categorical standards ensure consistency and allow engineers to select pipe fitting products with confidence that they’ll provide long-lasting and safe performance for their intended application.

    By understanding these standards and the specifications they define for different pipe fitting products, you can help to avoid miscommunications while reliably sourcing comparable products across a range of manufacturers or providers.

    Three Considerations for Choosing the Proper Pipe Fitting

    Stainless steel threaded pipe fittings should provide information about each of the following:

    • Connection types
    • Pressure classes
    • Material types

    Let’s look at each.

    Confirming a Solid Seal with Standardized Pipe Threading

    Connection types regarding threaded pipe fittings typically focus on the thread pattern.

    Thread patterns are most often defined by the size and taper type. 

    In North America, it is common to find threaded fittings with a National Pipe Thread (NPT) taper. Standard sizes range between 1/8-inch and 4-inches NPT.

    Ensuring a solid fit with your threaded components is critical for minimizing leaks and maintenance requirements at pipe connection points.

    Differing threading configurations can cause serious issues, including damage to connecting components, leaky connections, cross-threading, or incompatibility with other parts in your piping system.

    For a look at other international thread standards, consult this guide.

    We also discuss how threaded pipe ends, such as those used in pipe fittings, compare to other end types in our guide, Pipe Ends: Explained.


    A Quick Look at Pressure Classes

    With the connection and seal type considered, we’ll now look at more functional classification elements.

    The pressure class defines the maximum pressure a pipe, fitting, or valve should be capable of withstanding at a given temperature under typical operating conditions.

    It’s important to realize that these classes can provide different pressure tolerances based on the component type. 

    For example, class 150 (CL150) threaded fittings have different limits than CL150 flanges.

    As the definition highlights, pressure classes are also defined at specific temperatures. 

    This means that you need to understand any external and internal temperatures throughout the piping process to ensure that all threaded pipe fittings are operating within their tolerance limits.

    In most cases, pressure tolerances–also referred to as maximum working pressure measurements–will decrease as temperatures increase.


    Casting and Material Standards to Consider

    Pressure ratings are only one facet of a component. You must also look at dimensional and casting standards as well.

    Threaded stainless steel pipe fittings typically fall under one of four differing standards.

    • No standard: These components are typically manufactured using proprietary systems which do not ensure compliance with ASTM A351 standards. These are often called 150LB components and should not be confused with Class 150 components. Many of these parts result from early mass production designs and processes involving other metals and materials (brass, iron, or steel.) As such, they’re not always optimized to leverage the specific benefits of stainless steel in the component design.
    • ISO 4144: While these components are at least standardized and offer cost savings over components further down this list, they are 150LB fittings and typically cast thinner, failing to comply with ASTM A351 standards.
    • ANSI B16.3: Originally created to define standards for iron fittings before the rise in popularity of stainless steel fittings, some manufacturers still use this standard to determine CL150 fittings. 
    • MSS SP-114: Based on ANSI B16.3 dimensions, this standard is fully compliant with ASTM A351 standards. It is also the first explicitly defined for use with stainless steel fittings. As the most comprehensive standard in use today, it typically results in components with improved tolerances compared to lesser engineered 150LB part types.

    Materials can also vary between products and significantly impact both cost and performance.

    In most cases, cast stainless steel threaded pipe fittings are readily available in 304 and 316 grades. 

    Low-carbon grades are less available and might require custom ordering.

    However, in many cases, these designations are used in place of the actual ASTM A351 compliant grades. 

    For full compliance, pipe fittings must be cast using CF8 grade (18% Chromium and 8% Nickel) or CF8M grade (18% Chromium, 10% Nickel, 2% Molybdenum.)

    Bringing the Considerations Together

    With the significant considerations covered, we can now bring together a clear definition of what to look for in Class 150 stainless steel threaded pipe fittings. 

    To earn classification, the fitting must:

    • Meet MSS SP-114 standards for NPT sizes 1/8-inch through 4-inches.
    • Have ANSI B1.20.1 compliant threading.
    • Utilize materials which meet the ASTM A351 Standard Specification for Castings, Austenitic, for Pressure Containing Parts in grades CF8M or CF8.

    Pipe fittings which do not meet all of these specifications might be classified instead at 150LB fittings. 

    In most cases, 150LB fittings are best suited for commercial, residential, marine, food and beverage, and industrial applications with working pressures less than 225PSI and temperatures less than 65.5C (150F.) 

    Higher temperatures or pressures will typically require ASTM A351 compliance and Class 150 fittings.

    However, the best product for your needs will depend on a range of variables, including intended use, piping process design, operational and environment temperatures, pipe sizes, and many other factors. 

    If you’re unsure whether you need Class 150 fittings or if 150# fittings will do, consult an engineer. 

    Key Takeaways

    • Confusing the requirements between Class 150 (CL150) and 150 Pound (150LB or 150#) fittings can create operational safety concerns, lead to premature product failure, or cause failures in regulatory compliance.
    • With the myriad variables related to stainless steel threaded pipe fittings—and just as many parts manufacturers available—standards help to ensure reliability and create a consistent experience when implementing fittings in your piping process design.
    • Standards are created by a variety of organizations. Relevant bodies related to stainless steel product standards include the ASTM, ANSI, ISO, MSS, and ASME organizations.
    • Two major standards to keep in mind when choosing stainless steel threaded pipe fittings are ANSI B1.20.1—which deals with dimensions—and ASTM A351—which deals with materials used and castings quality.
    • When determining the best pipe fitting for your needs, three primary concerns are connection types, pressure classes, and material types.
    • When dealing with threaded fittings, connection types—and thread standards in particular—are critical to ensuring a tight seal and avoiding damage to fittings, piping, or other system components. 
    • In North America, most fittings follow the National Pipe Thread (NPT) taper standard with sizes ranging from 1/8-inch to 4-inches NPT.
    • Pressure classes measure the maximum pressure a fitting should withstand at a given temperature.
    • Fittings will typically handle more pressure at lower temperatures and less pressure as temperatures rise.
    • Pressure classes can denote different exact pressures across product types, even at the same pressure class.
    • 150LB rating does not guarantee ASTM A351 compliance.
    • If you require ASTM A351 compliance, CL150 pipe fittings that meet ANSI B16.3 or MSS SP-114 standards will provide sufficient specifications.
    • For full compliance, pipe fittings must be cast using CF8 grade (18% Chromium and 8% Nickel) or CF8M grade (18% Chromium, 10% Nickel, 2% Molybdenum.)
    • In most cases, 150LB fittings are best suited for commercial, residential, marine, food and beverage, and industrial applications with working pressures less than 225PSI and https://www.unifiedalloys.com/products/pipe-fittingstemperatures less than 65.5C (150F.)

    With decades of experience serving industries of all sizes throughout Canada and North America, Unified Alloys’ experienced sales analysts can help you to explore the options available to you for your next project. Contact us today to start the process!
  • Upgrading Our Enterprise Resource Planning System10/7/2020

    For Immediate Release

    Re: Microsoft Dynamics 365 | Business Central

    At Unified Alloys, we review and improve processes where it can positively effect our operational excellence for the benefit of our valued customers, suppliers, stakeholders and team members. As part of this commitment, we are proud to announce that after a year’s long migration and planning process, we are on schedule to go-live with our new Enterprise Resource Planning system, Microsoft Dynamics 365 - Business Central, on October 13th, 2020.

    We are extremely excited about the new tools and capabilities the system provides to both our internal team members and our external valued partners. The transition will enable our team to leverage advancements at every level of the company to enhance our service and support.

    The migration to the new system will impact all aspects of our business, and while our teams have worked diligently to ensure a seamless transition, we appreciate that there may be the potential for minor disruptions. To mitigate the potential for disruptions, appropriate contingency plans and tactics are prepared and on standby if necessary.

    Additionally, it is important to note we have taken this opportunity to upgrade our documentation. You will see some visual changes to our documents including invoices, packing slips and purchase orders. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our representatives if for any reason you experience disruptions, or you have questions or concerns regarding the new documentation.

    There has been considerable effort from our members to make this upgrade of our business management solutions a reality; we are proud of the tremendous team we have at Unified Alloys. We are eager to begin a new chapter of enhanced service and support for our valued business partners.

    Darren Hansen

    Chief Executive Officer

  • Prefabricated Piping Systems Announcement9/14/2020

    For Immediate Release

    Re: Divestment in Prefabricated Piping Services.

    Listening and learning from customers and stakeholders has fostered expansion into new markets and lead to the introduction of innovative products throughout our 44 years in business. As markets evolve, we adjust and align our offerings to serve the needs of our customers. This has typically meant the addition of products and services, however sometimes it has required us to divest from a product or service.

    Our entry into prefabricated pipe spooling services in Langley, BC, was to support the growth and benefits of stainless steel piping components in municipal water & waste water markets. Over time, stainless steel has risen to become a more prominent material choice for those who provide prefabricated stainless piping systems.

    We were proud of the work that we have completed, and express deep gratitude to both our customers and stakeholders who have supported the fabrication services we have provided. We have determined however that this service no longer aligns with the greater benefit we aim to provide our customers.

    We will continue to build upon our strengths in distribution of process piping components, primary material processing, and offering technical support for our valued customers.

    Thank you for your continued support and understanding.

    Respectfully, Unified Alloys

    Darren Hansen

    Chief Executive Officer

  • COVID-19 Update: Essential Service3/24/2020

    To our valued clients, colleagues and communities.

    Many of you will have already heard about the announcements made by our Provincial Governments regarding non-essential business closures.

    Unified Alloys is deemed an essential service by the Provincial Governments as we provide products to the energy, petrochemical, natural resources and community health infrastructure markets which are essential to supporting the operational continuity of our communities while we fight to contain COVID-19.

    Last week we took the proactive steps toward staffing our operations to ‘site-essential’ levels only.  All of our operations have taken steps to remain open by distancing our site essential teams from those who can work remotely.

    We remain ready to respond to your requirements.  Although there may be some delays, we will be shipping products on a daily basis unless we are otherwise notified.

    Our clients, colleagues and communities health and safety remains our top priority; We are proud to be able to support you during this difficult time.

    Respectfully,

    Darren Hansen, CEO.


    COVID-19 | Service essentiel

    24 Mars 2020

    À nos précieux clients, collègues et à notre communauté.

    Plusieurs d'entre vous êtes déjà au courant de l’annonce faite par nos gouvernements provinciaux concernant la fermeture des entreprises non essentielles.

    Alliages Unifiés est considéré comme étant une entreprise essentielle par les gouvernements provinciaux, puisque nous fournissons à des entreprises œuvrant dans les secteurs suivants : l'énergie, la pétrochimie, les ressources naturelles et les infrastructures de santé communautaire. Ceux-ci sont essentiels au soutien de nos communautés pendant que nous continuons à nous battre contre la COVID-19.

    La semaine dernière, nous avons mis en place des mesures proactive afin de pouvoir rester ouvert. Nous avons réduit notre personnel travaillant dans nos succursales en nous limitant uniquement au personnel essentiel au bon fonctionnement de nos entrepôts. Tout le reste de notre personnel travaille à distance.

    Bien que cette situation puisse occasionner quelques retards, nous continuerons d’expédier nos produits quotidiennement, à moins d’avis contraire.

    La santé et la sécurité de nos clients, de nos collègues et de notre communauté restent notre priorité absolue; Nous sommes fiers de pouvoir vous accompagner durant cette période difficile.

    Avec respect,

         

    Darren Hansen, CEO.

  • COVID-19 Preparedness & Planning Update3/16/2020

    Our commitment to our clients, colleagues, and communities.

    Unified Alloys has taken actions to address concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priority continues to be protecting the health and safety of our staff, clients, colleauges and the communities where we operate while limiting business disruptions.

    We continually monitor the situation and re-evaluate our COVID-19 preparedness planning as new information from the World Health Organization, Federal and Provincial Health authorities and internal operations become available.

    Our daily business interactions have changed.

    We have engaged plans to remain accessible and responsive to your business needs however for the health and safety of our clients and employees we are restricting personal contact. Under the current circumstances we are encouraging our staff to shift towards electronic messaging, phone calls and video conference where possible.

    Although we have taken measures to reduce personal contact, there are elements of our work that can not be done remotely. With our staff who remain engaged in business continuity plans where face-to-face interactions with business partners occur, we have taken various sanitizing measures and restricted physical contact such as shaking hands along with respecting personal distancing by 2 meters.

    A safer work environment.

    Our approach has been informed by the guidance of governmental agencies and public health officials and we are committed to making Unified Alloys a safer work environment for all.

    We will continue to be available to serve your business requirements and discuss your concerns while we all work through this global health crisis.

    Respectfully,

    Darren Hansen, CEO  


    COVID-19 | Mise à jour sur la préparation et la planification

    16 mars 2020

    Notre engagement envers nos clients, collègues et la communauté.

    Alliages Unifiés a mis en place des mesures pour répondre aux préoccupations découlant de la pandémie de COVID-19. Notre priorité est toujours de protéger la santé et la sécurité de notre personnel, de nos clients, de nos collèges et de la communauté tout en limitant les perturbations commerciales.

    Nous surveillons continuellement la situation et nous réévaluons notre planification de la préparation au COVID-19 à mesure que de nouvelles informations de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé, des autorités sanitaires fédérales et provinciales et des opérations internes deviennent disponibles.

    Nos interactions commerciales quotidiennes ont changé.

    Nous nous sommes engagés à rester accessibles et à répondre aux besoins de votre entreprise, mais pour la santé et la sécurité de nos clients et de nos employés, nous limitons les contacts personnels. Dans les circonstances actuelles, nous incitons notre personnel à utiliser la messagerie électronique, les appels téléphoniques et la vidéoconférence lorsque cela est possible.

    Bien que nous ayons pris des mesures pour réduire les contacts personnels, certains éléments de notre travail ne peuvent pas être effectués à distance. En s’assurant de restreindre les contacts physiques tels que serrer la main et respecter la distance personnelle de 2 mètres, notre personnel s’assure de la continuité des activités où des interactions face à face avec des partenaires commerciaux sont inévitables.

    Un environnement de travail plus sûr.

    Notre approche a été développé suite aux conseils des agences gouvernementales et des responsables de la santé publique et nous nous engageons à faire d’Alliages Unifiés un environnement de travail sécuritaire pour tous.

    Nous continuerons d'être disponibles pour répondre à vos besoins commerciaux et discuter de vos préoccupations pendant que nous travaillons tous à travers cette crise sanitaire mondiale.

    Avec respect,

    Darren Hansen, CEO