Steel Piping Versus Steel Tubing
Key Differences Between Steel Tube And Steel Pipe
|Materials||Wide Range Of Material Available||Carbon Steel, Low Alloy, Stainless Steel, Nickel-Alloys|
|Shape Of Tube/Pipe||Round Only||Round, Oval, Square, Rectangular|
|Rigidity||Rigid, Cannot Be Shaped Without Special Equipment||Can Be Shaped With Effort|
|Dimensions||Measured By OD (Outer Diameter) and Wall Thickness (WT) Together
OD Minus 2x WT (Schedule) = Inside Diameter (ID)
Determines Liquid Capacity Of Pipe
Nominal Pipe Size Does Not Match True Diameter
|Measured By OD (Outer Diameter) and Wall Thickness (WT)
Parameters In Inches or Millimeters
Determines True Dimensional Value Of Hollow Interior
|Wall Thickness (WT)||Designated By "Schedule" Value (Sch. 40, Sch., STD.)
Pipes With Same Schedule But NPS Have Different Wall Thickness
|Thickness Of Tube Measured In Inches Or Millimeters
Measured With A Gauge Nomenclature
|How It's Made||Hot Rolled Only||Hot Rolled Or Cold Rolled|
|Usage||For Liquid/Gas Flow||For Structural Purposes|
|Tolerances (QC)||Looser Quality Control Testing, Strength Is Not A Major Testing Factor||Strict Quality Control Testing, Mechanical Strength Is Major QC Area
Dimensional Checks: Straightness, Roundness, Wall Thickness, Surface
|Industries||Oil And Gas Industry, Shipbuilding Industry, Textile Industry, Construction Industry, Industrial Applications||Medical Industry, Aerospace And Military, Transportation Industry, Architecture / Construction Industry|
How To Call Out Tubing Sizes v. Pipe Sizes For Ordering
Naming tube or pipe relies on two key measurements: Outside Diameter (OD) and Wall Thickness (WT). Steel Tubing is measured and referred to by its Outer Diameter and Wall Thickness or Gauge. Steel Pipe is referred to by its Nomial Pipe Size for the diameter in inches and a "Schedule" for the wall thickness.
Tube Size Example: A tube with an Outside Diameter (OD) of 1-3/8 inches and a wall thickness of 0.065 is referred to as a "one and three-eighths 16 gauge tube."
Pipe Size Example: A pipe with an Outside Diameter (OD) of 1-7/8 inches and a Schedule of 0.120 is referred to as a "one and seven-eighths SS40 pipe."
Remember, Steel Tube is ordered outside diameter and wall thickness. Steel Pipe is ordered using the Nominal Pipe Size (NPS) standard and by the nominal diameter (pipe size) and schedule number (wall thickness).
Wall Thickness & Schedule: Understanding Pipe Measurements
Nominal Pipe Size and Schedule together refer to the pipe outside diameter (OD) and the wall thickness (internal diameter (ID) is fixed). For example, Nominal Pipe Size 14 SCH 40 has an OD of 14 inches and a wall thickness of 0.437 inches.
- Standard (STD)
- Extra Strong (XS)
- Double Extra Strong (XXS)
- (S) At The End Signifies "Steel"
- Schedule Standard (STD) = SCH 40S
- Schedule Extra Strong (XS) = SCH 80S
Residential Steel Tubing Sizes And Dimension Ranges
|Application||Fence Industry OD||Wall Thickness (in.)||Gauge|
|Residential Tubing||1 3/8"||0.047||18|
|Residential Tubing||1 3/8"||0.055||17|
|Residential Tubing||1 3/8"||0.065||16|
|Residential Tubing||1 5/8"||0.047||18|
|Residential Tubing||1 5/8"||0.055||17|
|Residential Tubing||1 5/8"||0.065||16|
|Residential Tubing||1 7/8"||0.047||18|
|Residential Tubing||1 7/8"||0.055||17|
|Residential Tubing||2 3/8"||0.065||16|
|Residential Tubing||2 3/8"||0.047||18|
|Residential Tubing||2 3/8"||0.055||17|
|Residential Tubing||2 3/8"||0.065||16|
Steel Tubing and Steel Pipe are often used synonymously however, they differ in two key ways: how the material is ordered and toleranced. A pipe is a hollow section with a round cross-section whereas a tube is a round, square, rectangular or hollow section. Steel Tubing is mainly used for structural purposes, so its Outside Diameter is necessary for ordering the correct tubing size. The most important factor of using steel tubing for a specific application is the outer diameter dimension, which refers to its stability. Pipes are used to transport gasses or liquids, knowing how much can flow through or inside the pipe is critical to ordering steel pipe. Metal Steel Tubing is suitable for greenhouse framing, chain link fence framing, livestock fence, and more. Steel pipe is suited for the conveyance of products.