Pipe vs Tube
Pipes and tubes are two essential components in various industrial and construction applications, used for transportation of fluids, gases, and solids. Despite the similarities, pipes and tubes have distinct differences, which determine their suitability for specific applications.
Understanding the difference between pipes and tubes is crucial in selecting the right material for your project, ensuring safety, and avoiding any potential failure. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of pipes and tubes, exploring their definitions, properties, and applications.
What is a Pipe?
A pipe is a cylindrical hollow that is used to transport fluids, gases, and solids from one location to another. Pipes are usually made from materials such as iron, steel, PVC, and others.
Related Reading: Tubing Shapes
The dimensions of pipes are defined by their Nominal Pipe Size (NPS) and Schedule (wall thickness). NPS refers to the size of the pipe, while the schedule refers to the wall thickness of the pipe. Pipes are typically round, but can also be square or rectangular.
Pipes are commonly used in plumbing, heating, and cooling systems for the transportation of water, gas, and air. They can also be used for structural purposes in construction projects. The manufacturing process of pipes usually involves welding or extrusion, depending on the material used.
It’s important to note that pipes have specific pressure ratings, and it’s crucial to choose the right pipe with the right strength and pressure capacity for your application to ensure safety and prevent any potential failure.
What is a Tube?
A tube is a hollow, seamless component with a circular cross-section, and it has three dimensions: the outside diameter (O.D.), the inside diameter (I.D.) and the wall thickness (W.T.), which is specified in inches or fraction of an inch.
Tubes are typically used in applications where precision and accuracy are required, such as in fluid power systems and heat exchangers, and they are known for their ability to maintain flow in applications such as hydraulic systems.
The lack of seams in seamless tubes makes them ideal for use in high-pressure applications where leaks could be catastrophic. The manufacturing process of tubes usually involves drawing or extrusion, depending on the material used.
Pipe vs Tube Differences
Have you ever wondered why pipes and tubes are used in different applications even though they seem to serve the same purpose?
Have you been puzzled by the difference between pipes and tubes, and how to choose the right one for your project?
In the table the differences between pipes and tubes are summarized:
|Definition||A cylindrical hollow that is used to transport fluids, gases, and solids.||A circular cross-section hollow used to convey liquids and gases.|
|Shape||Typically round, but can be square or rectangular.||Typically round.|
|Dimensions||Measured by their Nominal Pipe Size (NPS) and Schedule (wall thickness).||Measured by their outside diameter (OD) and wall thickness.|
|Manufacturing Process||Usually manufactured by welding or extrusion.||Usually manufactured by drawing or extrusion.|
|Applications||Used in plumbing, heating, and cooling systems, and for structural purposes.||Used in fluid power systems, heat exchangers, and high-pressure applications.|
|Material||Can be made from various materials such as iron, steel, PVC, and others.||Can be made from various materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and others.|
Tubing vs Piping: Key Differences
Tubes and pipes are commonly used in various industrial applications, but there are key differences between the two.
- When ordering a tube, the outside diameter and wall thickness are the determining factors, whereas piping is ordered using the Nominal Pipe Size standard, as well as the nominal diameter and schedule number or wall thickness.
- Tubes have the advantage of being telescoped, and they are generally stronger and more durable than pipes.
- While Tubes are always round, pipes can have a variety of shapes, including square and rectangular, in addition to round like a pipe.
- For larger applications, pipes are often a better choice, but for small diameters, tubing is the preferred option.
- On the other hand, tubes are often used in high pressure rating and critical applications.