Piping systems are used for the conveyance of drinking water, wastewater, chemicals, heating and cooling fluids, foodstuffs, ultra-pure liquids, slurries, and gases. They are also used in compressed-air and vacuum systems, and in both above ground and below ground applications.
Commercial piping systems are used in heating, cooling, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) projects, and in offices and apartment buildings. Industrial piping systems are used in power plants, process systems, and laboratories. Often, piping systems for power plants include selective catalytic reduction skids for air dilution and forward pumping. High-purity pipe spools are used in pharmaceutical applications. These piping systems adhere to quality assurance (QA) requirements, and are pre-fabricated, inspected and cleaned before final assembly. Piping systems consist of lengths of pipe along with various components.
Typically, industrial pipe is made of steel, stainless steel, plastic or copper. Medical piping systems require sanitary tubing, fittings, valves and pumps. Food processing piping systems must use tubes, bends, and T-pieces that can be drained and cleaned. Furnace piping, steam piping, liquid pipelines, nuclear piping systems, and gas piping systems also have special requirements. Parts, components, and accessories for commercial and industrial piping systems include nipples, hangars, weld rings, heaters, valves, cylinders, clamps, and repair couplings. Backflow preventers, temperature regulators, pumps, seals, connectors, steam traps, strainers, separators, gaskets, packing, insulation, and lubricants are also available.
Selecting water supply piping systems requires an analysis of parameters such as lift, velocity head, and friction head. Lift is the vertical distance between the surface of the water supply and the point of discharge at the end of the piping system while a pump is running. Unlike velocity head and friction head, lift is not directly affected by the piping system. Velocity head, another important variable, is the energy in a moving stream of water. Because this energy is lost when the water is discharged, however, a height or head must be achieved. Typically, head is measured in feet of water. In piping systems, friction head is the pressure loss caused when water flows through pipes, fittings, valves and other components. Like velocity head, friction head is dependent upon pipe diameter.