Long radius pipe elbows

The long radius elbow is the elbow which the radius of curvature of is 1.5 times the diameter of the pipe.

Normal size of long radius elbow:

Long radius pipe elbows

'The long radius elbow is the elbow which the radius of curvature of is 1.5 times the diameter of the pipe; if the radius of curvature is greater than 1.5 times, the long radius elbow will be called the bend. The short radius elbow means that the radius of curvature of the elbow equals the diameter of the pipe, or 1 time the diameter of the pipe in common words. D is used to represent the diameter of the elbow. The long radius is used most commonly, and it is also the default radius. When it is the place with the high pressure or the high flow rate, the long radius elbow is usually used. If the resistance requirements of the solid transmission pipeline are strict, the larger radius elbows will be used. 

The short radius elbow is generally used for the low pressure fluid or when there are some limits concerning the installation of the elbow. If there is no conditional limit or nothing marked in the contract particularly, the long radius elbow shall be preferred. Boxes, pallets, etc. will be used for the package. The long radius elbows are generally made of the stainless steel, the carbon steel and the alloy steel, and they are widely used in the sewage treatment, chemical, thermal, pharmaceutical, aerospace, power, paper and other industries.

What is the radius of curvature?

Radius of curvature is the curvature of a curve. The curvature of a plane curve is defined as the rotation rate of the tangent angle of a point on the curve to the length of the arc. It is defined by differentiation and it shows the degree of the curve deviating from the line. The reciprocal of curvature is the radius of curvature. The radius of curvature is mainly used to describe the extent of curvature variation of a point on a curve.

Technical requirements for the long radius elbow

It is required that the radius of curvature should be controlled. For example, if the radius is 1.5D, then the radius of curvature must be within the required tolerance range. Because most of these pipe fittings are used for welding, in order to improve the quality of welding, the end will be turned into the groove and it will keep the certain angle and edge. This requirement is quite strict, and the thickness of the edge, the angle as well as the deviation range are all defined. There are more requirements on the physical dimension of long radius elbows than those on the pipe fittings. The surface quality and mechanical properties of the elbow are almost the same as the pipe’s. To facilitate welding, the long radius elbow should be made of the same kind material of the pipe to be connected.

An elbow is a pipe fitting installed between two lengths of pipe or tubing to allow a change of direction, usually a 180° or 90° angle, though 45° elbows are also made. The ends may be machined for butt welding (SW) or socketed welding(SW) etc.

Most elbows are available in short radius or long radius variants. When the two ends differ in size, the fitting is called a reducing elbow or reducer elbow.

Elbows are categorized based on various design features as below:

Size range:

Elbow Size

Recommended type of pipe elbows:


  • Carbon steel: ASTM/ASME A234 WPB-WPC
  • Alloy steel: --WP 22-WP 5-WP 91-WP 911
  • Low temperature steel: ASTM/ASME A402 WPL 3-WPL 6
  • High performance steel: ASTM/ASME A860 WPHY 42-46-52-60-65-70
  • Stainless steel: ASTM/ASME A403 WP 304-304L-304H-304LN-304N
    • ASTM/ASME A403 WP 316-316L-316H-316LN-316N-316Ti
    • ASTM/ASME A403 WP 321-321H ASTM/ASME A403 WP 347-347H

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Pipe elbows

Butt Weld Pipe Fitting Bevel

  • All welded pipe fittings have bevelled end to allow for ease of welding.
  • This bevel allows for full penetration weld in most cases.
  • There are two types of bevels;
    Plain Bevel and Compound Bevel: according to the bevel of welding pipe fittings construction .
  • ASME B16.28, Buttwelding Short Radius Elbows and Returns
Industrial Processes: Bending, squeezing, pressing, forging, machining and more ANSI/ASME B16.25, Buttwelding Ends
ANSI/ASME B16.25 Standard covers the preparation of butt welding ends of piping components to be joined into a piping system by welding.

Application of pipe elbows:

Petroleum, chemical, power, gas, metallurgy, shipbuilding, construction, etc.


  • A wing of a building at right angles to the main structure.
  • A right-angled bend in a pipe or conduit; an elbow.

Fitting specification, Standard and identification

There are different varieties of pipe fittings made of various materials and available in various shapes and sizes.


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