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A pipe is round tubular section or hollow cylinder used mainly to convey media.

It can also be used for structural applications. In layman's terms the appellations pipe and tube are almost interchangeable, but in industry and engineering discipline the terms are uniquely defined. Depending on the applicable standard to which it is manufactured, pipe is specified by the internal diameter (ID) and a wall thic ness, a nominal diameter and a wall thic ness, or an outside diameter (!D) and a wall thic ness. "ube is most often defined by the outside diameter (!D) and a wall thic ness but may be specified by any combination of dimensions (!D, ID, wall thic ness). #ipe is generally manufactured to several long$standing and broadly applicable industrial standards (such as A%&'(A)%I *+,.-.(*+,.-/). 0hile similar standards e1ist for specific industry application tubing, tube is often made to custom si2es and a broader range of diameters and tolerances. &any industrial and government standards e1ist for the production of pipe and tubing. "he term 3tube3 is also commonly applied to non$cylindrical sections (i.e. square or rectangular tubing). In general, the term 3tube3 is more widely used in the 4nited %tates, whereas 3pipe3 is more common elsewhere in the world. *oth 3pipe3 and 3tube3 imply a level of rigidity and permanence, whereas a hose is usually portable and fle1ible. #ipe assemblies are almost always constructed with the use of fittings such as elbows, tees, etc., while tube may be formed or bent into custom configurations. 5or materials that are infle1ible, cannot be formed or where construction is governed by codes or standards, tube assemblies are also constructed with the use of tube fittings. "here are three processes for metallic pipe manufacture. Seamless (%&6%) pipe is formed by drawing a solid billet over a piercing rod to create the hollow shell. %eamless pipe provides the most reliable pressure retaining characteristics, and is often more easily available than welded pipe. Welded (also 'lectric 7esistance 0elded ('70) and 'lectric 5usion 0elded ('50))pipe is formed by rolling plate and welding the seam. "he weld flash can be removed from the outside or inside surfaces using a scarfing blade. "he weld 2one can also be heat treated, so the seam is less visible. 0elded pipe often has tighter dimensional tolerances than seamless, and can be cheaper if manufactured in the same quantities. 6arge diameter pipe (about -. inches or greater) may be '70, '50 or %ubmerged Arc 0elded (%A0) pipe. Cast pipe is no longer very common, but still e1ists. #ipe is sometimes cast in a centrifuge. "ubing, either metal or plastic, is generally e1truded. #ipe si2es can be confusing because the terminology may relate to historical dimensions. 5or e1ample, a half$inch iron pipe doesn't have any dimension that is a half inch. Initially, a half inch pipe did have an internal dimension of ..8 inches9but it also had thic walls. As technology improved, the wall thic ness got thinner (saving material costs), but the outside diameter stayed the same so it could mate with e1isting older pipe. "he history of copper pipe is similar. In the -/+.s, the pipe was designated by its internal diameter and a -(-, inch wall thic ness. :onsequently, a - inch copper pipe would have a -$-(; inch outside diameter. "he outside diameter was the important dimension for mating with fittings. "he wall thic ness on modern copper is usually

thinner than -(-, inch, so the internal diameter is only 3nominal3 rather than a controlling dimension.<+= )ewer pipe technologies sometimes adopted a si2ing system as its own. #>: pipe uses the )ominal #ipe %i2e. #ipe si2es are documented by a number of international standards, including A#I 86, A)%I(A%&' *+,.-.& and *+,.-/& in the 4%, *% -,.. and *% ') -.?88 in the 4nited @ingdom and 'urope. "here are two common methods for designating pipe outside diameter (!D). "he )orth American method is called )#% (3)ominal #ipe %i2e3) and is based on inches (also frequently referred to as )* (3)ominal *ore3)). "he 'uropean version is called D) (3Diameter )ominal3 ( 3)ominal Diameter3) and is based on millimeters. Designating the outside diameter allows pipes of the same si2e to be fit together no matter what the wall thic ness.

For pipe sizes less than NPS 14 inch (DN 350), both methods give a nominal value for the !D that is rounded off and is not the same as the actual !D. 5or e1ample, )#% ? inch and D) 8. is the same pipe, but the actual !D is ?.+A8 inch, or ,..+?8 mm. "he only way to obtain the actual !D is to loo it up in a reference table. For pipe sizes o NPS 14 inch (DN 350) and !reater the )#% si2e is the actual diameter in inches and the D) si2e is equal to )#% times ?8 rounded to a convenient multiple of 8.. 5or e1ample, )#% -B has an !D of -B inches, or +88., mm, and is equivalent to D) +8..

%ince the outside diameter is fi1ed for a given pipe si2e, the inside diameter will vary depending on the wall thic ness of the pipe. 5or e1ample, ?3 %chedule ;. pipe has thic er walls and therefore a smaller inside diameter than ?3 %chedule B. pipe. %teel pipe has been produced for about -8. years. "he pipe si2es that are in use today in #>: and galvani2ed were originally designed years ago for steel pipe. "he number systems, li e %ch B., ;., -,., were set long ago and seem a little odd. 5or e1ample, %ch -?. pipe is even thinner than %ch B., but same !D. And while these pipes are based on old steel pipe si2es, there is other pipe, li e gold$flow cpvc for heated water that uses pipe si2es, inside and out, based on old copper pipe si2e standards instead of steel. &any different standards e1ist for pipe si2es, and their prevalence varies depending on industry and geographical area. "he pipe si2e designation generally includes two numbersC one that indicates the outside (!D) or nominal diameter, and the other that indicates the wall thic ness. In the early twentieth century, American pipe was si2ed by inside diameter. "his practice was abandoned to improve compatibility with pipe fittings that must usually fit the !D of the pipe, but it has had a lasting impact on modern standards around the world.

In )orth America and the 4@, pressure piping is usually specified by )ominal #ipe %i2e ()#%) and schedule (%:D). #ipe si2es are documented by a number of standards, including A#I 86, A)%I(A%&' *+,.-.& ("able -) in the 4%, and *% -,.. and *% -+;A in the 4nited @ingdom. "ypically the pipe wall thic ness is the controlled variable, and the Inside Diameter (I.D.) is allowed to vary. "he pipe wall thic ness has a variance of appro1imately -?.8 percent. In 'urope, pressure piping uses the same pipe IDs and wall thic nesses as )ominal #ipe %i2e, but labels them with a metric Diameter )ominal (D)) instead of the imperial )#%. 5or )#% larger than -B, the D) is equal to the )#% multiplied by ?8. ()ot ?8.B) "his is documented by ') -.?88 (formerly DI) ?BB; and *% -+;A) and I%! ,8, and it is often called DI) or I%! pipe. Eapan has its own set of standard pipe si2es, often called EI% pipe. "he Iron pipe si2e (I#%) is an older system still used by some manufacturers and legacy drawings and equipment. "he I#% number is the same as the )#% number, but the schedules were limited to %tandard 0all (%"D), '1tra %trong (F%), and Double '1tra %trong (FF%). %"D is identical to %:D B. for )#% -(; to )#% -., inclusive, and indicates .+A83 wall thic ness for )#% -? and larger. F% is identical to %:D ;. for )#% -(; to )#% ;, inclusive, and indicates .8..3 wall thic ness for )#% ; and larger. Different definitions e1ist for FF%, but it is generally thic er than schedule -,.. Another old system is the Ductile Iron #ipe %i2e (DI#%), which generally has larger !Ds than I#%. :opper pl"m#in! t"#e for residential plumbing follows an entirely different si2e system, often called :opper "ube %i2e (:"%)C see domestic water system. Its nominal si2e is neither the inside nor outside diameter. #lastic tubing, such as #>: and :#>:, for plumbing applications also has different si2ing standards. Agricultural applications use #I# si2es, which stands for #lastic Irrigation #ipe. #I# comes in pressure ratings of ?? psi, 8. psi, ;. psi, -.. psi, and -?8 psi and is generally available in diameters of ,3, ;3, -.3, -?3, -83, -;3, ?-3, and ?B3.