A fitting is used in pipe plumbing systems to connect straight pipe or tubing sections, to adapt to different sizes or shapes, and for other purposes, such as regulating or measuring fluid flow. The term plumbing is generally used to describe conveyance of water, gas, or liquid waste in ordinary domestic or commercial environments, whereas piping is often used to describe high-performance (e.g. high pressure, high flow, high temperature, hazardous materials) conveyance of fluids in specialized applications. The term tubing is sometimes used for lighter-weight piping, especially types that are flexible enough to be supplied in coiled form.

Fittings (especially uncommon types) require money, time, materials, and tools to install, so they are a non-trivial part of piping and plumbing systems. Valves are technically fittings, but are usually discussed separately.

It is the practice in the steel industry that structural shapes are assigned representative designations for convenient shorthand description on drawings and documentation: Channel sections, with or without flange stiffeners, are usually referenced as C shapes; Channel sections without flange stiffeners are also referenced as U shapes; Point symmetric sections that are shaped similar to the letter Z are referenced as Z shapes. Section designations can be regional and even specific to a manufacturer. In steel building construction, secondary members such as purlins (roof) and girts (wall) are frequently cold-formed steel C, Z or U sections, (or mill rolled) C sections.

Cold formed members can be efficient on a weight basis relative to mill rolled sections for secondary member applications. Additionally, Z sections can be nested for transportation bundling and, on the building, lapped at the supports to develop a structurally efficient continuous beam across multiple supports.