How to Select Industrial Pipe
Industrial pipe is a broad category of fluid and solid transport hardware used in many applications and industries. Usually cylindrical, pipe and rigid tube is used in process, energy, construction, and many civil infrastructure applications. Industrial pipe and rigid tube are manufactured from a wide variety of materials for the transport of an equally wide variety of solids and fluids. Industrial pipe is often, but not necessarily, cylindrical in shape, and systems are typically configured with straight sections connected by fittings or specially-formed connections and joints. It is frequently used in pressurized applications. Industrial pipe construction and material specifications are application-dependent; user consultation with pipe suppliers is typical for optimization of pipe selection.
Size choices include standard nominal English sizes, metric sizes, wall thickness, and pipe schedule if applicable. English sizes are approximations of the pipe size; smaller size industrial pipe carries an internal diameter (I.D.) roughly approximate to the nominal size, and larger pipe matched the outside diameter (O.D.) more closely. Metric sizes range from less than 10 millimeters up to greater than 1000 millimeters. Wall thickness may be specified numerically, or a schedule size may be chosen for pipe that conforms to the standard schedule dimensions. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) assigns "schedule numbers" to classify wall thicknesses for different pressure uses. ANSI schedule numbers cover all pipe sizes from NPS 1/8 through NPS 36 identified as Standard (STD), Extra Strong (XS) and Double Extra Strong (XXS) and all wall thicknesses by ANSI schedule number. Choices for section shape include round, oval, square, and rectangular.
Industrial pipe is manufactured in a wide variety of materials. These materials can include but are not limited to ABS, aluminum, brass, bronze, carbon or graphite, ceramic or ceramic lined, clay or vitrified clay, concrete, CPVC, EDPM, fiberglass or composite, fluoropolymers (PFA, FEP), glass or glass-lined, gray or cast iron, ductile iron, lead, neoprene or rubber or elastomer, nylon or polyamide, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), PTFE or PTFE lined, PVC, carbon and alloy steel, stainless steel, titanium, and zirconium.
Ratings and Features
Common ratings and features assigned to industrial pipe include maximum pressure, temperature range, flexible, lined, plated, flanged, insulated, and underground rated. The maximum pressure refers to the maximum service design pressure. The temperature range is the full required range of ambient operating temperature. Flexible industrial pipe has material and construction that allows some degree of flexibility for custom routing and elimination of fittings. A lined pipe is manufactured with an integral lining. These linings are often made from engineered polymers for use with process materials or in applications such as food processing where media cleanliness is important. Platings such as nickel and chrome are sometimes used on industrial pipe for appearance or corrosion resistance. Flanged pipes are terminated at one or both ends with a flange for connection. Pre-insulated pipe includes a variety of insulating materials and jacket construction. Underground rated industrial pipe is designed and constructed for underground applications.