How are pipes coupled in spacecraft? I found Shape memory alloy pipe couplings (SCoup, see image taken from link) are sometimes used.

-Is this still the case and in what quantity are they used?

-What are the alternative coupling methods considering weight and reliability are constraints.

SMA pipe coupling


1 Answer 1


The 1976 NASA monograph Liquid Rocket Disconnects, Couplings, Fittings, Fixed Joints, and Seals defines "couplings" as

Couplings are manually actuated separable connectors that require more than a few seconds for engagement or disengagement.

and lists the following types:

  • Flanged

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  • Threaded:

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  • Dynamic swivel couplings

Shape memory alloy is not mentioned, but that may be a newer development.

  • $\begingroup$ Is Swagelok common? $\endgroup$
    – ikrase
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 1:56

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