How to ID British (BSP) Threads

British Pipe Standard fittings are amongst the most popular of all foreign threads in the world today. These threads come in two versions: parallel (BSPP), and tapered (BSPT). The thread flank angle for both tapered and parallel British threads is 55°. NOTE: It is a fairly common mistake to identify a BSPT (tapered) as an NPT. Always remember that NPT threads have a 60° thread flank angle, and BSPT has a 55° angle (this can be verified with a thread gauge). Although BSP is a foreign thread, it isn’t actually metric. This is why it comes in imperial sizes: 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and so on.

BSP parallel threads commonly seal via a 30° chamfer on the male thread to a 30° recessed cone inside the female thread (swivel only). If it is a port application, an O-ring and washer or a bonded washer are needed to achieve a proper seal for parallel threads. For tapered BSP threads, a seal is acquired via thread wedging with additional support from thread dope or Teflon tape. As previously mentioned, it is possible for a male BSPT (tapered) to thread into a female BSPP (parallel), so long as the female thread is fixed and not swivel (this is because of the recessed cone seat).

BSP parallel fittings and their specifications can be identified by a completing few calculations. To find the thread size:

1) Measure the O.D (outer diameter) of the BSP thread.
2) Take the O.D measurement (in inches) and subtract 1/4 inch (.25”).

For example, a BSP parallel male thread measures out to O.D 1”. Subtracting 1/4 gives a thread size of 3/4, also known as “dash” 12.

Once you have the thread size, you then need to determine the number of threads per inch to verify that it is a BSP fitting. You can do this by counting the number of thread crests over a 1/4” length, then multiply it by 4 to get the number of threads/inch. For example, if over a 1/4” distance you find 3.5 thread crests:

1) Multiply 3.5 by 4 to get 14. This is the number of threads per inch.
2) Combine the thread size with the number of threads per inch and refer to the following chart to find your desired size and its related specifications.

 

British Standard Pipe Thread - Parallel (BSPP/BSPF)
 
 
 
Inner
 
 
 
 
Tap
 
 
Outer
Diameter
 
Threads
Pitch
Thread
Drill
Nominal
Dash
Diameter
Male Thread
Pitch
per
Diameter
Height
Diameter
Size
Size
(mm)
(mm)
(mm)
inch
(mm)
(mm)
(mm)
                 
1/8"
02
9.728
8.566
0.907
28
9.147
0.581
8.7
1/4"
04
13.157
11.445
1.337
19
12.301
0.856
11.6
3/8"
06
16.662
14.95
1.337
19
15.806
0.856
15
1/2"
08
20.955
18.631
1.814
14
19.793
1.162
19
5/8"
10
22.911
20.587
1.814
14
21.749
1.162
20.75
3/4"
12
26.441
24.117
1.814
14
25.279
1.162
24.5
7/8"
14
30.201
27.877
1.814
14
29.039
1.162
28
1"
16
33.249
30.291
2.309
11
31.77
1.479
30.5
1 1/8"
18
37.897
34.939
2.309
11
36.418
1.479
35
1 1/4"
20
41.91
38.952
2.309
11
40.431
1.479
39.5
1 3/8" 
22
44.323
41.365
2.309
11
42.844
1.479
41.5
1 1/2"
24
47.803
44.845
2.309
11
46.324
1.479
45
1 3/4"
28
53.746
50.788
2.309
11
52.267
1.479
51
2"
32
59.614
56.656
2.309
11
58.135
1.479
57
2 1/4"
36
65.71
62.752
2.309
11
64.231
1.479
63
2 1/2"
40
75.184
72.226
2.309
11
73.705
1.479
72.5
2 3/4"
44
81.534
78.576
2.309
11
80.055
1.479
79
3"
48
87.884
84.926
2.309
11
86.405
1.479
85.5

For British tapered threads (BSPT), the process is almost the same. To determine the threads per inch count, you would undergo the same steps as for a parallel thread. Using the O.D to identify a tapered fitting is not recommended for the reason that the outer diameter changes throughout the length of the taper. However, the I.D (inner diameter) is a good reference point to start from. To determine the I.D of a BSP tapered fitting, simply obtain a caliper reading from inside the bore of the fitting. You can cross-reference the bore size on the following chart with thread pitch and threads per inch to find your desired size and its related specifications.

British Standard Pipe Thread - Tapered (BSPT)
 
 
 
Inner
 
 
 
 
Tap
 
 
 
Outer
Diameter
 
Threads
Pitch
Thread
Drill
Thread
Nominal
Dash
Diameter
Male Thread
Pitch
per
Diameter
Height
Diameter
Crest
Size
Size
(mm)
(mm)
(mm)
inch
(mm)
(mm)
(mm)
Rounding
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/16"
01
7.723
6.561
0.907
28
7.142
0.581
6.4
0.125
1/8"
02
9.728
8.566
0.907
28
9.147
0.581
8.4
0.125
1/4"
04
13.157
11.445
1.337
19
12.301
0.856
11.2
0.184
3/8"
06
16.662
14.95
1.337
19
15.806
0.856
14.75
0.184
1/2"
08
20.955
18.631
1.814
14
19.793
1.162
18.25
0.249
3/4"
12
26.441
24.117
1.814
14
25.279
1.162
23.75
0.249
1"
16
33.249
30.291
2.309
11
31.77
1.479
30
0.317
1 1/4"
20
41.91
38.952
2.309
11
40.431
1.479
38.5
0.317
1 1/2"
24
47.803
44.845
2.309
11
46.324
1.479
44.5
0.317
2"
32
59.614
56.656
2.309
11
58.135
1.479
56
0.317
2 1/2"
40
75.184
72.226
2.309
11
73.705
1.479
71
0.317
3"
48
87.884
84.926
2.309
11
86.405
1.479
85.5
0.317
4"
64
113.03
110.072
2.309
11
111.551
1.479
110.5
0.317
5"
80
138.43
135.472
2.309
11
136.951
1.479
136
0.317