Foshan Sewaly Steel Co.,Ltd
Email TEL: 86-186-7659-9928



Latest company news about DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TUBE AND PIPE

Is this a tube or a pipe?

The terms can be interchanged in certain instances. However, they have one important difference. This is how the material has been ordered and tolerancing. When tubing is used as a structural component, the outside diameter will be the key dimension. Tubes have many applications, such as medical equipment that requires precise outside diameters. The outside diameter can indicate the stability of a tube by indicating how much it is able to hold. Knowing the capacity of pipes is crucial, since they are often used to transport gases or liquids. Knowing the capacity of a pipe is essential. The circular shape allows the pipe to efficiently handle the pressure created by the liquid flowing.


Pipes are classified according to their nominal diameter and schedule. Pipe is ordered using Nominal Pipe Size standards (NPS). This standard specifies a nominal size (pipe diameter) and schedule numbers (wall thickness). The schedule numbers may be the exact same but the actual wall thickness can vary.
Tubes are ordered usually by the outside diameter, but they can also be ordered OD & ID. The wall thickening determines how strong a pipe is. A gauge number is used to determine the thickness of tube. Smaller gauge numbers correspond to larger outside diameters. The inside diameter is only a theoretical number. Tubes can be in various shapes like square, rectangle, cylindrical and more, while piping always comes round. The circular shape of the tube evenly distributes pressure. Pipes have sizes ranging between a half inch and several feet. Tubing usually is used where smaller diameters of pipe are needed.


Ordering Your Tubing or Pipe

Tubing is typically ordered to outside diameter and wall thickness; however, it may also be ordered as OD & ID or ID and Wall Thickness. Although tubing has three dimensions (O.D., I.D. and wall thickness) only two may be specified with tolerances and the third is theoretical. Tubing is usually ordered and held to tighter and more stringent tolerances and specifications than pipe. Pipe is typically ordered using the Nominal Pipe Size (NPS) standard and by specifying a nominal diameter (pipe size) and schedule number (wall thickness). Both tubes and pipes can be cut, bent, flared and fabricated – check out our top 10 tips for ordering tubing and piping.


There are a few key characteristics that separate tube from pipe:


Pipe is always round. Tubes can be square, rectangular, and round.


Tube is typically ordered outside diameter and wall thickness. Tubing is usually held to tighter and more stringent tolerances and specifications than pipe. Pipe is typically ordered using nominal pipe size (NPS) standard and by specifying the nominal diameter (pipe size) and schedule number (wall thickness)

Telescoping Abilities

Tubes can be telescoped. Telescoping tubes are perfect for applications different pieces of material to sleeve or expand inside one another.


Pipe is rigid and cannot be shaped without special equipment. With the exception of copper and brass, tubes can be shaped with some effort. Bending and coiling tubing can be done without excessive distortion, wrinkling or fracturing.


Tubes are used in applications such as medical devices that require a precise outside diameter. The outside diameter is important since it will indicate how much it can hold as a stability factor. Pipes are used for transporting gasses or liquids making it important to know the capacity. The circular shape of the pipe makes it efficient when handling pressure from the liquid flowing through.

Metal Types

Tubes are cold rolled and hot rolled. Pipe is only hot rolled. Both can be galvanized.


Pipes accommodate larger applications. Tubing is generally used where small diameters are required.


Tubes are stronger than pipe. Tubes perform better in applications that require durability and strength.

Contact the Experts at Eagle Stainless

For over 14 years, Sewaly Stainless has earned a reputation as a world-class tubing components and parts supplier, proudly serving industrial, energy, medical, and aerospace industries across the globe. If you’re interested in requesting a product quote, please click below to get started!

Contact Us at Any Time

No. 13, Fochen Road, Chencun Town, Shunde District, Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China
Send your inquiry directly to us