Difference between Steel Pipe and Tube

Posted By nav bharattubes on Dec 22, 2021 | 0 comments

Difference between Steel Pipe and Tube

Is it a Pipe or is it a Tube?

In certain instances, the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but there’s a key distinction between pipes and tubes specifically in the way that the material is ordered and tolerated. Tubes are used for structural purposes, and its outside diameter becomes the most important dimension. Tubes are typically used in healthcare devices which require exact outer diameters. The diameter on the outside is vital because it indicates how much it is able to support as a stability aspect. Pipes are typically used for transporting gasses or liquids, it is important to determine the capacity. Understanding the flow capacity via the pipe is crucial. The circular shape of the pipe makes it effective in managing the pressure from the liquid that flows through.


The two types of pipes are nominal and scheduled. Pipes are typically ordered according to the Nominal Pipe Size (NPS) standard and also by specifying the nominal size (pipe dimensions) and a schedule number (wall thickness). The schedule number may be the same for various sizes of pipe however actually the wall’s thickness may be different.

Tubes are usually ordered according to the outside size and diameter. However it can be ordered in OD & ID or ID and Wall Thickness. Strength of the tube is contingent on its thickness. The thickness of a tube can be measured by gauge numbers. The gauge numbers that are smaller indicate greater diameters outside. On the inside, size (ID) is an abstract concept. Tubes come in a variety of forms like round, rectangular, and square and piping is circular. The circular form of the pipe allows the pressure to be equally dispersed. Pipes can be used for larger applications, with sizes ranging from 1/2 inch up and up to multiple feet. Tubing is typically used in situations in which smaller diameters are needed.

Ordering Your Tubing or Pipe

Tubing is usually ordered according to OD and wall thickness. However it can also be ordered in the form of OD & ID or ID and Wall Thickness. Tubing is a material with three dimensions (O.D., I.D. as well as wall thickness) only two dimensions can be specified using tolerances, and the other is theoretical. The tubing is generally ordered and is held to more strict and tighter specs and tolerances as pipe. Pipe is normally ordered using the Nominal Pipe Size (NPS) standard, and is ordered by specifying the nominal dimension (pipe dimension) and a schedule number (wall thickness). Pipes and tubes can be bent, cut and flared as well as manufactured – take a look at the top 10 suggestions to purchase pipes and tubing.



There are some important characteristics that distinguish tubes from pipes:


Pipes are always round. Tubes are rectangular, square and round.


Tube is usually purchased with an outside diameter and wall thickness. Tubes are usually kept to more exact specifications and tolerances than pipe. The majority of pipes are ordered with the NPS, the nominal size of pipe (NPS) standard, and with the help of the nominal diameter (pipe size) and the schedule number (wall thickness)

Telescoping Abilities

Tubes may be telescoped. Telescoping tubes are ideal for putting diverse pieces of material in order to wrap or expand inside each other.


It is rigid, and can’t be cut without specific equipment. Except for brass and copper, tubing can be bent with a little effort. The process of coiling and bending tubes can be accomplished without causing excessive distortion, wrinkles or breaking.


Tubes are utilized in various applications like medical devices that need an exact outside diameter. The outside diameter is vital as it determines how much it is able to be able to hold as a stabilization measure. Pipes are used to transport liquids or gasses, so it is essential to determine the capacity. Its circular design helps in handling the pressure of the liquid passing through.

Metal Types

Tubes are cold-rolled and hot rolling. Pipe is hot rolled only. Both are galvanized.


Pipes accommodate larger applications. It is usually used when smaller diameters are needed.


Tubes are much stronger than pipes. Tubes are better suited for applications that require strength and durability.

Contact the Experts at Navbharat tubes

Since its founding in 1990, Navbharat tubes has earned an international reputation as a top tubing component and parts provider and is dedicated to serving the, energy, industrial and around the world. If you’re interested in getting the price of a particular product, follow the link below to begin!



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