Steel pipe elbow (sometimes also refereed as bends) is a key part in a pressure piping system used to change the fluid flow direction. It is used to connect two pipes with same or different nominal diameters, and to make the pipe and thus the fluid direction turn to a certain direction of 45 degree or 90 degree. This change in fluid flow direction adds pressure losses to the system due to impact, friction and re-acceleration.
Classification of Steel Pipe Elbows
Steel pipe elbows can be classified through following various parameters,
Length and Radius
Connection with Pipe
Material of Construction
Types of Elbows based on Direction Angle
According to fluid flow direction of the pipes, elbows can be divided into different degrees, such as 45 degree, 90 degree, 180 degree, which are most common elbows. Also there are 60 degree and 120 degree elbows for some special pipelines. This degree is just an representation of the angle by which the fluid flow is going to change after flowing through the said elbow.
Types of Elbows based on Length and Radius
Elbows are split into two groups which define the distance over which the flowing fluid change direction; the center line of one end to the opposite face. This is known as the “Center to Face” distance and is equivalent to the radius through which the elbow is bent.
If the radius is the same as pipe diameter (Center-to-Face dimension of 1.0 X diameter ), it called Short Radius Elbow (SR elbow) used normally for low pressure and low speed pipelines or in tight areas where clearance is the main issue. If the radius is larger than pipe diameter (Center-to-Face dimension of 1.5 X diameter) then we call it a Long Radius Elbow (LR Elbow) used for high pressure and high flow rate pipelines.