How To Identify Thread Types

How To Identify Thread Types

April 28, 2022

Nothing could be as satisfactory as identifying thread types effortlessly. Multiple thread types exist, making it a little challenging to identify the exact type. Standard options include SAE, JIS, NPT, Metric, and BSP. Precise identification ensures that you choose the right thread for your equipment to function optimally. It will also assure you of unmatched compatibility in the long run. The identification process is pretty straightforward. Here are a few insights to keep in mind.

Get the Right Tools

Various tools and equipment are necessary for this identification process. Yet, you will need two main tools: a caliper and a pitch gauge. A caliper measures the inner or outer diameter, depending on whether the thread is male or female. Its accurate measurement makes it a perfect alternative to a straight ruler.

Conversely, a pitch gauge helps measure the threads per inch. It provides accurate measurements between these threads.

Check Whether the Threads Are Tapered or Parallel

Threads can be either tapered or parallel. Tapered ones narrow when extending outwards, while parallel threads have the same diameter. A visual inspection might be enough to determine this characteristic. However, a caliper makes the process more accurate and seamless in the long run.

Tapered threads account for specific thread types: NPT, BSP, and Metric. They create a slight seal through metal-to-metal wedging. On the other hand, parallel threads need an o-ring to improve their tightness.

Confirm the Size

You will also need to verify your threads’ pitch size or diameter. The pitch size measures the number of threads per inch and is also the distance between threads, particularly on metric threads. Some people might want to use a ruler in this instance. While it is possible, a pitch gauge assures you of unmatched precision in the long run.

Determining the thread diameter requires you to use a caliper. This caliper can measure the inner or outer part of the thread, depending on whether it is male or female. These measurements are often standardized. Yet, you could expect slight variations from time to time. However, you need to measure the 4th or 5th thread in a tapered option. Conversely, measuring a full-thread corridor suffices in a parallel setup.

You could also consider measuring the seat. While it is optional, it helps confirm the thread you need. In this case, measure the angle of a sealing surface. Remember, some fittings could have more than one seat.

Designate the Thread

A standard thread identification table will help you designate the thread. Once you get your accurate measurement, you will effortlessly match it with the information on this table. This table provides comprehensive insights into different thread types, giving you a much easier time in the long run.

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