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JIC vs SAE Flare Fittings: Which is Better?

Many accidents in hydraulic systems usually occur due to the wrong fitting type. It is easy to fall victim to this since there are many different types of hydraulic fittings. There are many types and sizes of hydraulic fittings, and some look very similar.

JIC vs SAE flare fittings

Examples of such fittings that look similar are JIC and SAE flare fittings. Unless you are an expert in hydraulic fittings, it’ll be impossible to tell the difference between both at first glance and where they work best. 

Then again, JIC and SAE flare fittings are quite popular on the market, so you will most likely come across them when shopping for fittings. Because of this, we made this comparison of JIC vs SAE flare fittings to help you decide which is best for your application.

Nevertheless, JIC and SAE flare fittings are different. You will learn about their differences in this post as we discuss JIC vs. SAE flare fittings.

What are JIC flare fittings?

JIC flare fittings follow standards set by the Joint Industry Council and were the first fitting type to become standardized. They follow the SAE J514 and MIL-DTL-18866 standards and were initially a replacement for the MS16142 military specification. This is why JIC fittings are similar to AN fittings. 

JIC flare fittings are compression fittings, usually made with stainless steel, brass, carbon, and nickel alloys. They feature a straight thread with a male and female component. Each of the components has a 37-degree seat. But it has a flared male seat and a coned female seat, allowing a sturdy seal.

You will find JIC flare fittings among the most popular in the market. One reason is that they are readily available. Another is that they come in many different shapes and sizes. As stated before, they also come in different materials.

JIC fittings are similar to SAE 37-degree fittings in appearance and size. As a reason, both fittings are usually interchangeable. You’ll appreciate JIC fittings in high-temperature applications, as they don’t feature an O-ring seal. Furthermore, it is easy to connect and disconnect JIC flare fittings. Doing so frequently won’t affect the fittings’ shape, which makes them easy to maintain.

Despite these, JIC flare fittings also have their downsides. Notably, they are not the best for extreme-pressure and high-vibration applications. Most JIC flare fittings do not have very high-pressure ratings. 

Furthermore, JIC flare fittings are almost only useful in hydraulic and fluid-transfer systems. Since they use a metal-to-metal sealing technique, they are unsuitable for critical applications. JIC flare fittings also seal too tightly, making them susceptible to cracking and damage.

It’s easy to mistake JIC flare fittings for AN flare fittings, as they both have a 37-degree angle. However, interchanging both isn’t ideal since they have different quality standards.

What are SAE flare fittings?

SAE is the general name for flare fittings that follow the Society of Automotive Engineers standards. However, when people mention SAE flare fittings, they usually refer to the SAE J512 flare fittings. The fittings come in different materials, but most of them are brass.

Like JIC flare fittings, SAE flare fittings are also compression fittings and come with different seat angles. The SAE J514, for example, comes with a 37-degree flared male seat — the same as JIC flare fittings. On the other hand, the more popular SAE J512 flare fittings come with a 45-degree flared male and female seat. 

Unlike the SAE J514, which is common in hydraulic applications, the SAE J512 is common with automotive pipe systems. SAE flare fittings are generally prevalent for low-pressure applications as they employ a metal-to-metal seal. But they are popular because they are easy to install.

Difference between JIC and SAE flare fitting

Here are some key differences between JIC and SAE flare fittings:

JIC Flare FittingsSAE flare Fittings
1JIC fittings are Joint Industry Council standard compliant. . SAE fittings conform to Society of Automotive Engineers standards.
2They come with a 37-degree angle seat. They are available in a 37-degree angle seat, and 45-degree angle seat.
3JIC Fittings has relatively higher pressure ratings than SAE flare fittings.SAE Fittings has a relatively lower pressure rating than JIC flare fittings.
4Most fluid-transfer and hydraulic systems use them.It is common to find them in automotive pipe systems. 
5They have some similarity with the AN 37-degree flare fitting.  The SAE J514 is only similar to the AN 37-degree flare fitting. 
6In most cases, JIC fittings are made of steel or stainless steel.Usually, SAE fittings are made of brass.

Is SAE the same as JIC?

SAE and JIC fittings are similar in that they are both flared fittings. However, they are not the same, and the primary difference is their seat angles.

While SAE flare fittings have a 45-degree angle, JIC flare fittings have a 37-degree angle. However, the SAE flare fittings with a 45-degree angle are the SAE J512. There are other sizes of SAE fittings, such as the SAE J514 and SAE J513.

In particular, the SAE J514 flare fitting has a 37-degree angle seat like the JIC flare fittings. Therefore, it’s possible to interchange the SAE J514 flare fittings with JIC flare fittings.

Note that you should never interchange the SAE J512 flare fittings with the JIC flare fittings. Doing so will result in serious leakages and subsequent accidents in your hydraulic system.

Since they have a lower degree angle, JIC fittings will work for higher-pressure hydraulic applications than SAE fittings. 

Verdict

In conclusion, JIC and SAE flare fittings are not the same. Both fitting types follow different, albeit similar, industry standards. The JIC conforms to the Joint Industry Council standards, while the SAE conforms to the Society of Automotive Engineers standards.

It is possible to interchange a JIC flare fitting with an SAE 37-degree flare fitting. While doing the same with a JIC flare fitting and an SAE 45-degree flare fitting is dangerous. Make sure to keep this in mind when setting up your system to avoid unforeseen problems. If you require further guidance, do not hesitate to contact us

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