Difference Between Pipe and Tube (Pipe vs Tube)

Difference Between Pipe and Tube (Pipe vs Tube)

Do you know that Pipe and Tube, both are different things? Generally, people think that both are the same and there is not much difference between them. But that’s not true. There is a big difference between pipe and tube. And, I think you should have a sound understanding of the difference between them. Below I have explained the actual difference between pipe vs tube by listing some solid points. But first of all, let define both of these two things.

Difference Between Pipe and Tube

Some of the most important points highlighting the difference between tube and pipe are given below:

  • The cross-sectional shape of a tube can be round, square or rectangular. But on the other hand, the pipes are of round shape only.
  • The tubes are specified by the outside diameter and the wall thickness. On the other hand, the pipes are specified by the inside diameter and the thickness of the wall.
  • Generally, pipes are larger in size as compared to the tubes.
  • The manufacturing requirements of a pipe is generally less than that of a tube.
  • The tubes can be of both types: of rigid and flexible, as per the requirement of the application. But Pipes are always rigid.
  • Tubes are made up of materials like metal alloy, rubber, plastic, etc. And, pipes are made of materials like metal, plastic, glass, ceramic, etc.
  • As far as the strength is concerned, you can say that the pipes are weaker than the tubes.
  • In the case of a pipe, the wall thickness is measured by a parameter termed as Schedule Number. A pipe with the specification of Schedule 80 has more thickness than the pipe with Schedule 40. And on the other hand, the thickness of the wall is measured in inches or millimeters in the case of the tube. The thickness of a tube is represented by the gauge number. The tube with a larger gauge number has smaller wall thickness as compared to the tube with a smaller gauge number.
  • As far as the cost is concerned, tubes are more expensive as compared to the pipes. The reason is that tubes need more precise and complicated manufacturing as compared to the pipes.
  • The specified diameter of the pipes is the nominal diameter which is actually different from the actual diameter found upon measuring. And, on the other hand, there is not much difference between the specified diameter and the measured diameter in case of tubes.
  • Specifications of tubes have tighter tolerances as compared to that of the pipes.
  • You can order a tube by specifying its OD/ID and gauge number. On the other hand, you can order a pipe by specifying its Nominal Diameter and Schedule Number.
  • You can use tubes in structural applications such as medical devices etc. And, the pipes are used especially for the transportation of the fluids (liquid or gas) from one place to the other.

Pipe vs Tube Strength

If you compare the strength of the pipe and the tube. You will end up concluding that tubes have more strength than pipes.

As you can see there are so many differences between pipe and tube, as I explained above. So, now, I think, you will never use these two terms interchangeably after reading this article. If you are unable to understand any point mentioned above and need more clarification, you can drop a comment below. And, also share this post with others who are interested in reading this kind of stuff.

Here below, I have shared the links to some other important articles that you should check out next:

Difference Between Sheet and Plate Fully Explained

Difference Between Hardness and Toughness

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