Over the past few decades, welding methods have significantly advanced in the piping industry to produce better results for welding tasks. As a result, numerous welding processes and techniques are available today, making it challenging to select the best one for a given welding job.
Welders must fully understand the advantages of the various welding methods and weld types. This post will discuss two types of welds: butt welds and socket welds. They both have qualities that are necessary for improving your weld joint. Their applications, however, differ depending on the tasks they are used for.
Butt welds, made in accordance with ASME B16.9, are used to join two separate pieces of metal, such as pipes, by heating or applying pressure, or both. You can form a joint in this type of welding by aligning the pieces of metal you wish to join and then welding along the joint.
Butt joints can be welded using resistance welding, arc welding, or as part of a brazing process. High-energy beam welding can also be used to make a butt weld.
This type of weld produces a high-strength joint and is preferred by the construction code when the joint is to be of full penetration type.
A socket weld, made in accordance with ASME B16.11, is used for welding and fitting pipes of various sizes. Inserting a smaller pipe into the open area of a larger fitting pipe accomplishes this. Because socket welds do not require beveled ends like butt welding, they are simple to make. Simply clean the weld area and insert the fitting inside another pipe or ‘tee’ with a larger OD to perform a socket weld.
Use socket welding to create lines that transport toxic, flammable, or expensive materials while allowing for no leakage. They can also transport steam at pressures ranging from 300 to 600 PSI. Socket weld pipe fittings are available in three high-pressure rating classes: 3000, 6000, and 9000.
What Is the Difference Between Butt Weld and Socket Weld?
While these two weld types are common in the industry, choosing the correct one can be difficult. To make things easier, we’ve outlined some key differences between the two:
Socket welds may be a better choice in terms of size due to their ability to connect pipes of varying sizes. However, due to the design of the pipes, you may be limited to using only small-sized pipes. Otherwise, socket welds can be used to join pipes with diameters ranging from DN50 to DN100.
Butt welds, on the other hand, are typically used for large-diameter pipes. It can weld larger pipes as long as they are similar in size. Larger diameter pipes also allow back grinding and welding from the joint’s back side. This results in joints with high strength.
Socket welds are relatively reliable for welding pipes capable of transporting anything, including toxic materials or liquids that must not leak. They can also weld steam transmission pipes under 600 PSI and are available in three high-pressure rating classes: 3000, 6000, and 9000.
However, the butt weld has a clear advantage when it comes to pure strength. They are resistant to corrosion and more durable than socket weld fittings. In some cases, butt welded joints are nearly twice as strong as socket welded joints.
Seam And Groove Welding
To fill the welding bead when butt welding, you must have a 30 to 37.5° beveled end. A compound beveled end will also be required for very thick walls.
When it comes to socket weld fittings, you don’t need a bevel and can weld the part directly. The seams of a socket weld are filet welds.
Testing and Inspection
Non-destructive testing methods for socket welds include penetrant testing (PT) and magnetic particle testing (MPT) (MT). Magnetic particle testing is used in carbon steel cases, while penetrant testing is used in stainless steel cases.
Butt welds, on the other hand, can be 100% X-ray tested to ensure there is no leakage. This may appear to be simpler, but butt weld testing requirements are more complex than socket weld testing requirements.
Butt weld is superior to socket weld in terms of quality. It is primarily used for smaller pipes with NPS 2 or fewer measurements.
Butt weld is superior in quality for oversized and heavy pipes. It is appropriate for joints whose quality must be equal to or better than that of the base metal itself.
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