When constructing, repairing or modernizing an air system, you have a lot of options with regards to air fittings. Air fittings are a vital part of all compressed air systems. They assist in redirecting the pipes through which the air flows, as well as provide air to the users if necessary. Examining each of these types of air fittings to see what their potential uses are would be a great place to start.
One of the most recognizable differences between the various types of air fittings is their size. The National Pipe Taper (NPT) standard regulates the sizes and configurations of air fittings. NPT sizes usually come in inches, but the NPT size, in general, does not equal the real size of the fitting. The fittings would also be designed to be compatible with different tube sizes as well as different port sizes.
Straight Air Fittings
The most primary type of air fitting are the straight air fittings. They have an air line at an end and at the other end is a female or male thread that links to a boss (the device that takes in the air supply), which could be valve, tool, an air cylinder or another component of the air compressor.
Elbow Air Fittings
Elbow air fittings enable the air line to link with it’s fitting at an angle. A majority of elbow air fittings come with a spinning feature so that once the fitting is connected the air line connection can be rotated for it to come from the most suitable direction.
Rotary Union Air Fittings
The rotary union conquers the limitation of the elbow fitting and allows the air fittings to constantly move while in use. It is basically an elbow fitting that can rotate without undergoing any wear. This effect is obtained by using ball bearings.