Are Flare and Compression Fittings the Same?

Fittings are often used in pipe systems to connect various sections of piping or tubing. Moreover, they have the ability to adapt to different sizes or shapes and can even regulate or measure the flow of fluids. Two types of fittings that are commonly used are flare and compression fittings. Flare fittings are typically used for gas and high-pressure lines where even slight leakage can result in major problems. In contrast, compression fittings are generally used for water and compressed air lines where any kind of leakage is not a problem. These two fittings are often conflated, and as such, this blog will cover their distinguishing features, advantages, disadvantages, and applications of both.

Flare fittings are a type of compression fitting used with a soft steel or ductile copper and aluminum tubing. They consist of a tapered end that fits into a flared section of tubing and are secured with a threaded nut to produce a pressure-resistant, leak-tight seal. Moreover, the tubing that is typically used with this fitting is flared by inserting a flaring tool like a mandrel or rolling cone, by way of a cold working procedure.

To install flare fittings, you must begin by cutting the tubing at the ends so that you can install the fittings in the metal tube. Next, place the flare nut over the end of the pipe and slide it back. If the nut does not seamlessly slide onto the end of the pipe, you may cut the pipe until the nut can fit on the fitting with ease. Place your flaring tool of choice around the tubing and use a screwdriver to tighten a flare cone on top of the tube opening until it is secured inside the base. Then proceed by taking the tubing out of the base, move the nut to the end of the tubing, and finish off the installation with flare fittings.

Flare fittings are popular for their longevity and reliability, making them the go-to choice in military and aerospace applications. They are also a good option for implementation in heavy machinery, industrial and construction equipment, as well as high-pressure and high-temperature applications. More than that, they work best with connecting thin- to medium-diameter wall tubing.

Compression fittings work by compressing a element of the fitting into tubing in order to create a watertight seal between two different lines. The most common materials used for compression fittings are brass, plastic, or stainless steel. Like flare fittings, compression fittings are ideal for high-pressure applications that require a tight seal. Moreover, they consist of a sleeve, nut, and the fitting body itself.

In order to install compression fittings, you will require a wrench in most instances. You begin by sliding a nut into a tubing while moving the sleeve up to the nut’s threaded side. Next, the tubing should be placed into the connector on the fitting body, pulling both the nut and sleeve down so that the threads on the nut and the fitting body meet. Lastly, you screw the nut onto the fitting body and use a wrench to tighten the connection. They are often used when you are looking to connect a waterline or air pneumatic line.

In the case that your compression fitting is leaking, determine where the leak is located. Plastic fittings are more susceptible to leakages due to stress placed on the various elements of the fittings. For example, if you are using a fitting on an appliance or a piece of equipment with a pump or motor that produces excess vibration, the nut might slip off the fitting body, resulting in a malfunctioning fitting. To remedy this, in a waterline, shut the water off, take the fitting apart, and reassemble it after thorough inspection. If you have reassembled the fitting and the leaking does not stop, you may have to replace the fitting, a section of it, or the tubing itself. As such, if you find yourself in need of these various components or other specialized items, look no further than Fulfillment 3Sixty.

Fulfillment 3Sixty is an online distributor of aircraft parts, board-level components, IT hardware, and more. When you choose Fulfillment 3Sixty as your sourcing solution, you get access to an unparalleled inventory of over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find parts from global manufacturers we trust. We operate with AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B certification and accreditation, ensuring you always receive superior quality items. Peruse our expansive catalogs, and fill out an RFQ form. Provide as many details about the parts you wish to acquire including target prices, desired quantities, and expected shipping time frames. In as little as 15 minutes, a dedicated representative will reach out to you with a quote for your comparisons. Alternatively, you may call or email us at We are available to our customers 24/7x365.


October 27, 2022
September 26, 2022

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