Flare vs. Flareless Fittings — What’s Right for My Application?

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When it comes to making connections, should you use a flare fitting or a flareless fitting? The answer depends on your application. Some applications require flare fittings. And for other applications, a flareless fitting will suffice. Here’s how to determine which fitting to use.

Flare fittings

A flare fitting has a tapered end that fits into a flared piece of tubing and is secured in place with a sleeve and flare fitting (threaded nut) to produce a pressure-resistant, leak-tight seal. The tubing must first be flared by inserting a flaring tool (typically a mandrel or rolling cone) using a cold working procedure. Pneumatic flaring tools, which are powered, are common also, 

Flared fittings offer a high degree of long-term reliability and are often used in mission-critical and inaccessible locations, including military and aerospace applications. Flared fittings are also a good option for use with heavy machinery, and industrial and construction equipment. They are the fitting is most commonly used to connect tube or hose in high-pressure and high-temperature applications.

Flared fittings are particularly suitable for connecting thin- to medium-diameter wall tubing. They are also the right choice when the fittings will have to endure a lot of stress from pressure

The flare fitting is commonly used world-wide because it is a simple construction. Flare fittings has a wide variety of applications and are ideal for high pressure hydraulic applications. Flare fittings are ideal for joining both hydraulic tube and hose systems. Additional applications include, Petro-chemical, fertilizers, water and other fluids.

The OmegaOne flare fitting is the OmegaFlare, which is manufactured to the SAE J514 standard which is a 37° flare, commonly referred to as JIC (Joint Industry Council). The three main components to the flare fittings are the body, the ferrule, and the nut. These three parts work together to create a metal-to-metal seal when the nut draws the flared tubing, sleeve and fitting body together.

Flareless Fittings – Bite-type (single ferrule)

A flareless fitting, also referred to as a compression fitting, uses a single ferrule and a nut to make a connection, eliminating the need for flaring. Flareless fittings are common because they can be used with a wide variety of tubing types and because connections are easy to make. They require less time and care than flare fittings.

Flareless fittings are used extensively to connect tubing to threaded components, such as valves and tools. They are ideal for systems with high vibration, as they dampen vibration better than flare fittings do. They are also a better solution for thicker tubing, because the flareless fitting does not require the tube end to be flared.

The OmegaOne flareless fitting is the OmegaBite. It’s an SAE flareless tube fitting manufactured to the SAE J514 standard. Similar to the OmegaFlare Fitting, the OmegaBite has three components: the body, the ferrule, and the nut.

When to use each type of fitting

The type of fitting you use depends largely on how tight your seal must be. When any level of leakage is an issue (gas and high-pressure lines, for example), use flare fittings. When slight levels of leakage won’t cause too much of a problem (water and compressed air lines, for example), use flareless fittings.

Use flare fittings in applications that involveUse flareless fittings for applications that involve
> Movement
> Low to medium vibration levels
> Gas
> Higher pressures than a flareless fitting can handle
> Little movement
> High vibration levels
> Large tub diameters
> No gas or high pressures

Also, base your choice of fitting based on the type of fitting that is required by law for your application. This is because a proper installation is very important for this style of fitting.  When properly installed, flareless fittings are very reliable. In many highly regulated industries, such as aerospace and defense, the type of fitting you are allowed to use is specified in codes published by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, The American National Standards Institute and other regulatory organizations.

The type of fitting you choose depends on your applications. If you are ready to buy your fittings, review our flare and flareless tube fittings.