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How many threads please?

How many threads please

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3404610/02/2019 18:47:30
580 forum posts
6 photos

I need to fit a lubricator to a steam inlet

The thread is 3/16 by 32, the tube is 3mm thick, so I think this will mean 4 full threads

May I ask if this will be satisfactory There is a locknut on the lubricator inlet to tighten up once lubricator screwed in place.

Would loctite thread locker be required please ?



JasonB10/02/2019 19:19:13
15740 forum posts
1646 photos
1 articles

Thread sealant would be better than lock

Howard Lewis10/02/2019 19:27:31
2140 forum posts
2 photos

Ideally you should aim for at least 1 D engagement, 1.5 D or 2 D would be even better.

These are usual parameters for threaded components subjected to axial loads.

In this case, going into 3 mm thick tube,,from the side, you don not seem to have much option and so must live with just less than 5/8 D. (0.118 / 0.1875) If the threads are axial, then aim for at 1 D engagement minimum.

Since it is a lubricator, in situ, it is unlikely to suffer much stress so it will probably suffice.

Don't overstress things by overtightening the locknut!.

If possible, I would try to avoid making the threads a loose fit.. In any case, a slack fit will allow leakage.

A sealant should be used, since you don't want steam or oil escaping

Howard, .

John Rudd10/02/2019 20:08:11
1365 forum posts
58 photos

sealant needs to be able to withstand steam temperature.....laugh

Edited By John Rudd on 10/02/2019 20:08:59

Paul Kemp10/02/2019 20:22:36
285 forum posts
9 photos

I am assuming you are screwing a male fitting on the lubricator into the side of a 3mm thick pipe? That beingnthencase you would be better off silver soldering a boss with a female thread onto the pipe.


Tim Taylor 212/02/2019 16:04:58
66 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by John Rudd on 10/02/2019 20:08:11:

sealant needs to be able to withstand steam temperature.....laugh

Edited By John Rudd on 10/02/2019 20:08:59

This is an excellent point. I would suggest using one of the thread sealing compounds designed for steam use - they come in a paste compound that typically includes nickel and copper, and are non-hardening, making later removal easier.


not done it yet12/02/2019 19:51:30
3144 forum posts
11 photos

A couple of practical points, as I see it.

One cannot just hang a lubricator on a pipe - better for the lubricator to be suppported and a vibration proof/flexible pipe arrangement to connect the two.

Screwing in anything to a curved surface requires either a tapered thread or a boss (as per PK,) and sealing the connection with a washer (if a parallel thread). A curved surface would only support a locknut at two points.

vintage engineer12/02/2019 20:07:12
142 forum posts

The ideal is 1 1/2 times diameter

JasonB12/02/2019 20:15:12
15740 forum posts
1646 photos
1 articles

But do you ever see these lengths of thread on plumbing?

Typical model nut and nipple probably less than 0.5D. Domestic compression fitting maybe only 0.25D and they are good for 7bar at 120degC at 15 & 22mm

duncan webster12/02/2019 23:46:14
2161 forum posts
27 photos

All these rules for depth of thread are aimed at developing full strength, but you don't need anything like full strength on this application. Assuming 80 psi steam, you have 2.2 lbs force. The pitch diameter of the thread is near enough 11/64" and the thread length is 1/8" (again near enough), so the area of thread in shear is 11/64 * pi * 1/8 * 1/2 = 0.034, so the shear stress is 65 psi, which is not a lot. Go for it, use sealant and don't over-tighten

just for interest, a 1/4" bsw nut is only 0.2" thick, 0.8D, your 3mm is 0.63D

Edited By duncan webster on 12/02/2019 23:50:39

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